Rammstein

Wacken - 2013

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Rammstein was a band that Wacken was especially pleased to present as a headliner this year, and rightfully so – Rammstein is at present the largest German metal band there is and Wacken is the largest German metal festival there is.
It should be a match made in heaven (or hell maybe?), and yet it has taken several years to get a date in place.

Personally, I’ve liked Rammstein pretty much from the get go, and even though I haven’t really kept track of their releases for a while, I surely wasn’t about to miss out on their show now that opportunity presented itself. Live I haven’t seen them since, oh, back in -98 I believe it was, so as you can understand, they had several new tricks up their sleeve out of my perspective, and I was looking forward to seeing what these were.

Even though this was the first officially open day of Wacken 2013, the True Stage had been completely sealed off the entire day and Rammstein, with all their mighty gear, would be the only ones playing there. As the hour was drawing near, the entire field was filled with people and anticipation was almost sparkling in the air as all eyes were intensely fixated on the large curtain that covered the entirety of the large stage.
As it fell we were presented with, without a doubt, why these Germans had required the stage for themselves – the build up was massive and impressive!
It pretty much resembled an idealised vision of a large factory, everything in steel with oversized fans (you know, the air vent version, not the ones who are into the band (although there were a few of them in the crowd as well)) hanging from the ceiling, a huge light rig, and interesting mic-stands for Paul Landers and Richard Z. Kruspe that could be tilted down and raised with the aid of a large spring.
The band members were already on stage, all in individual outfits, and Till Lindemann was lowered down from the ceiling on a platform shooting sparklers every which way, wearing a pink fur. The game was on...

The show began with Ich Tu Dir Weh from the latest album, and straight from the get go we were treated to a trademark Rammstein show consisting of relentless music punishing us, all the while smoke, fires and sparklers were overheating the already warm August night.
It was a planned and straight up executed show with little room for improvisation and mistakes, much like the music itself, but that didn’t hurt in any way as there was always something new to entertain us – Feuer Frei! saw the two guitarists and Lindemann with flamethrowers attached to their faces, Mein Teil had a great story woven in with Christian ‘Flake’ Lorenz being put in a huge cauldron which the now butcher clad Lindemann heated up under with another flamethrower (once in a while Lorenz would pop his head up to have a look if the threat was gone), Benzin saw a gas-station tank rolled out on the stage which (surprise surprise) could be used as a flamethrower and was so used on a guy in a hoodie who accidentally stumbled in on the stage, Bück Dich was, well, Bück Dich although I haven’t seen Lorenz wearing a panda mask before, and then of course there was the grand finale with Pussy in which Lindemann straddled a giant penis which was attached to a rail at the front of the stage and came extensively all over the cheering crowd!

The setlist was also a treat in many aspects – of course there were some songs I missed, most surprisingly was probably the exclusion of Engel, but it contained a lot of really good stuff as well.
I was positively surprised to hear Wollt Ihr Das Bett In Flammen Sehen as this wasn’t a song I had expected from the first album; rather I had expected the band’s namesake song, and I was very happy when they started playing it some way into the set. The joy was short-lived though, as the song was cut short after only a few bars, and Lindemann gave the crowd the finger as the band changed gear and played Bück Dich instead.
Other songs worth mentioning are Ohne Dich which was good but really hard for me to take seriously as I simply couldn’t get Mambo Kurt’s cover version out of my head for the entire song, Mein Herz Brennt which was performed solely by Lindemann and Lorenz who was playing on a grand piano which had been rolled onto the stage for this song only, and of course Sonne which had a highly cheered on guest vocalist in Heino, German schlager and Eurovision Song Contest legend extraordinaire!

Yes, there were a lot of reasons for the crowd to cheer at this show, and it was also done in abundance!
Lindemann wasn’t really one for speaking to the audience, in total I believe he said two sentences during the entire show, both times shortly thanking us for coming out (before leaving before the encore songs, and again after the encore songs), but this didn’t stop the fans in taking an active part in the songs whenever they felt like it.
There wasn’t much of a moshpit, there simply wasn’t room for one, but instead we got to use our voices a lot – Du Hast saw the audience take the beginning of the song all by themselves, and further in we had a strange duet of many voices together with Lindemann. I have already mentioned the extremely positive reaction to having Heino on stage (and yes, it was absolutely epic!), but one shouldn’t forget a crowd favourite like Ich Will either. This the last song before the first time the band left the stage 80-90000 pairs of arms raised to the sky. Do you realise how many devil-horns that make? That’s right, A LOT!

By now it should come as no surprise to you that I absolutely loved the concert – this was top-notch entertainment from start to finish, supremely well technical execution where everything was in place and working. Hell, Rammstein even got a rather decent sound out of the speakers which is quite rare at this festival!
Hopefully, it will not be another 15 years before I see these guys again...

Setlist:

Ich Tu Dir Weh
Wollt Ihr Das Bett In Flammen Sehen?
Keine Lust
Sehnsucht
Asche Zu Asche
Feuer Frei!
Mein Teil
Ohne Dich
Weiner Blut
Du Riechst So Gut
Benzin
Links 2-3-4
Du Hast
Bück Dich
Ich Will
Mein Herz Brennt
Sonne (feat. Heino)
Pussy

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