A few weeks ago, Husband and I were given the chance by Superbreak , who offer concert tickets and weekend breaks, to go and see Rammstein at The O2 arena and we jumped at the chance…only to be ill on the day and unable to go. Luckily, we knew someone who was able to take the tickets and review the show for Mum’s the Word, so without further ado, here it is:
The O2 on the banks of the River Thames has become synonymous with the biggest acts in music today. The likes of Lady Gaga, Rhianna and Take That have all tread the boards and performed to thousands of screaming fans in one of London’s biggest venues. Let’s just hope none of those people got caught up in the queue for tonight’s show…
Rammstein is not a band for the feint hearted. The heavy german industrial outfit has been on the circuit for over ten years and initially their shows, world renowned for their pyrotechnics, had to be moved to arenas when rows of the audience were getting frazzled at the front of their gigs in smaller venues.
Back then, question marks hovered over whether they could fill a venue but tonight, back to back and side to side, Rammstein had brought in their hordes, showing heavy metal is far from dead.
They played a plethora of their hits, from the earlier slow and powerful ‘Mutter’ to the more up-to-date, heavier and slightly commical ‘America’ with equal measure of rawkus reaction from the crowd, who never shunned from singing the German lyrics.
But, this wasn’t so much about the hits; it was about the stage show. As the house lights came down an industrial walkway slowly descended from the ceiling, surrounded by smoke and with regular explosions of sparks flying into the crowd. The band emerged at the side of the stage to take a procession around the audience, brandishing flags – both Rammstein’s own logo and St George’s Cross – and a flame to lead them in their solemn march.
Once they took their places and built up the anticipation for the first note, they never missed a beat. Perhaps the treadmill keeping the keyboard player both exercising and in time during the show may have helped, but each member gave their all, diminishing all doubt the band were a generic industrial outfit.
Stand out performances came from lead singer Till Lindemann, who regardless of all the chaos going on around him, didn’t miss a note and sung with more passion than many of his genre fail to achieve. Also, founder of the band and still the driving force behind the guttural sound, Richard Z. Kruspe was true to form, showing real talent with his six strings and making the thumping melodies of each song come to life.
Fire rose up from the floor, masks with flame throwers attached criss-crossed the stage, fireworks exploded to the words ‘bang, bang,’ all the time with an eerie green or red backdrop that looked somewhere between the Crystal Maze Industrial Zone and the few minutes before a nuclear plant melts down.
Rammstein might never take over the charts, but with a loyal following, superb industrial beats, sing along songs – regardless of their native language – and sold old arenas, this band aren’t going anywhere for a long time. Forget the West End or a Las Vegas show, make sure you catch Rammstein next time they are round.
Review by Jennifer Scott / Photos by Bert Sowerby
Thanks to Jennifer, Bert and Superbreaks!