I loved the online advert for this show because it was short and simple: ‘L.A., this is going to be so Anti-Chill’. . . RAMMSTEIN definitely has a sense of humor, dark, yes, but the fact remains that pyrotechnics is part of the live experience with a RAMMSTEIN show, end of story. And when I say ‘pyrotechnics’ I’m not talking like KISS, no offense. RAMMSTEIN takes it much further, over to the near danger zone as fans gasp at the excitement and sheer ‘whew’ of it all. In the event you have never heard of RAMMSTEIN before, they are a German band who formed in 1994 and released their first album in 1995. They are a mix of Heavy Metal, Groove metal, combining that with elements of Industrial and Techno. There is a slight classical hint as well as operatic feel to the music as well. The six-piece band are the original members, have released eight studio albums in addition to several live records and DVD’s and in my opinion far beyond anything out there musically today. I have never heard them on the radio and after record sales of over twenty-five million with five albums platinum, they command large audiences all over the globe. They sing in German but no worries because the fans sing right along with them even though it may not be their native language. Every band has their fans but RAMMSTEIN’s fans go the extra mile by learning the lyrics from listening to the records. That is real dedication.
So on this day in Los Angeles, it was the first night of two sold-out shows in a row and with their large stage that was more of a massive structure with the back about six stories in height, the back and sides behind the front of the stage of the coliseum were closed off because you wouldn’t be able to see the entire show. The Coliseum normally holds approximately 78,500 that includes the suites so over a two night period RAMMSTEIN played to 110,000 fans. The RAMMSTEIN crew is a bit over 150 people and it takes four days to build the stage on this their North American Stadium Tour that ended in Mexico with three sold-out stadium shows in Mexico City. These guys don’t fool around. They hire 150-250 locals at each stop to assist the crew in unloading, building, tearing down and loading the stage and structure.
After getting a glimpse at the massive stage with all attached the thought ran through my mind before I arrived of, ‘how are they going to outdo their last tour’? Ha! No worries RAMMSTEIN fans as the band never disappoints. Their 21-song set ran two hours and 25 minutes and everybody got their well-spent monies’ worth with more pyro, two new studio albums of which they played nine songs from all on a much bigger platform than previously. RAMMSTEIN doesn’t just perform songs but they also have a staging, a skit to enhance some songs maybe just so the audience will get an idea what the song is about involving just the lead vocalist TILL LINDEMANN and sometimes including keyboardist CHRISTIAN “FLAKE” LORENZ, so a RAMMSTEIN show is very visual as well, especially with the pyro and outrageous excellent lighting.
As it has always been with RAMMSTEIN, their entrance to the stage was preceded with taped music, “Music For The Royal Fireworks”, a 1749 George Frideric Handel song (to celebrate the War Of The Austrian Succession), which was the perfect setup for tonight’s show. With the RAMMSTEIN logo lit up in white that was slowly raised up the middle structure behind the band, the crowd cheered wildly as thick fog blew all over the stage with a ‘below stage level walkway’ where one member walking up and out onto the stage one at a time. What an entrance! From the first song of “Armee Der Tristen” and “Zick Zack” and the military marching song “Links 2-3-4” that started with long red banners with their emblazoned white logo on them rolling down across the stage and on the speakers columns on the ground level of the coliseum. It was an all night spectacle of powerful heavy guitar riffs, deep baritone vocals, industrial techno pulsating keyboards and heavy bass and drums that penetrated the eardrums but had most people on their feet throughout.
The band who is all perfection in their performance captivated the large crowd with songs from each album except 2005’s ROSENROT, with heavy attention on the 2019 pre-pandemic untitled record (although listed in the record stores and online as simply RAMMSTEIN) and the 2022 ZEIT record. The band threw in their staple hits, mostly from the MUTTER album. The onstage show had Lindemann rolling out an extremely large baby stroller where the entire inside caught on fire as Till sang “Puppe”, ending with black confetti that rained heavily on the stage and audience as though it was ash. “Mein Teil” was back again and the enormously favorite pyro-ridden “Du Hast” had the entire crowd singing with “Sonne” right after that had so much pyro that I felt like the place was on fire. The heat is strong, especially those twenty to thirty-five foot columns coming out on top of the stage and front of the band and also on the ground level of the stadium. It was spectacular as people took it all in.
There was a five minute intermission where the band left the stage as cameras in the audience would prey on women to show their tits, and many did but then men got in on the act as well and lifted their shirts too entertaining the entire crowd. This gave the band time to get to the ‘B’ stage where they performed a previous heavy pyrotechnic song called “Engel” as a band. However, this time Till sang atop accompanied by two women playing pianos with no other instruments as the other members kept moving to different sides so the audience could eventually see all the band members. Even though scaled down to piano, “Engel” was still a very powerful song and that’s my point here; RAMMSTEIN reinvented their usual songs where there are props used or skits that tell the story and the songs are so well-written that they remained powerful. By the way, hats off to the crew and especially FOH guy who did an incredible job on the sound in this large outdoor stadium. When “Engel” had finished the band got on rubber life boats two at a time and was carried and passed over the heads of fans by the fans until all three boats made it back to the stage safely, 150 feet away.
There were two encores no less that started with “Engel” and included “Du Riechst So Gut” and the English lyrics “Pussy”. Encore number two had “Rammstein” where Till wore a backpack that had nine 13-18 foot flames shooting out in peacock fashion, then “Ich Will” and ended with “Adieu” from the new ZEIT album. When the band had finished, they all front together, they stood and stared out into the crowd with no emotion, and then knelt on one knee praying and giving thanks to the crowd for coming. They stupid up after a minute, waved and left the stage, Till and founding member/lead guitarist RICHARD Z. KRUSPE leaving last. The cheers continued on and soon died down as the outro music as the lights came on were recorded piano versions of “Sonne” and “Ohne Dich”. What a night!
RAMMSTEIN is a hit wherever they go in the world and I was happy to once again see the band as this stadium tour of North America was limited to only a handful of cities across the nation. They are all great musicians with excellent songwriting, everything from their lighting to staging, production, pyrotechnics is all very well thought out and there is nobody who can come close to that in the genre of metal. Auf Wiedersehen.