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Three Songs No Flash

Rammstein: Industrial Immolation Live In Manchester
John Robb , February 6th, 2010 12:54

Flamethrowers, exploding babies and a sonic apocalypse: John Robb proclaims Rammstein's current tour the greatest show you will see this year

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This is getting ridiculous. How big does a band have to be before it gets recognised?

In a virtually sold out Manchester Arena (that's nearly 20,000 people) Rammstein are in pulverising form, the crowd are going crazy, the atmosphere is electric and the firebombs launching from the stage are like World War Three on apocalypse LSD.

And yet the band is virtually ignored by the mainstream media who are tied up in knots over the world of indie. As a confused journo told me once, they don't cover “this sort of stuff”.

They may have to change the agenda - Rammstein cannot be ignored any longer. For the sheer breadth of their vision, their stunning live show and the fact that their German language records are huge worldwide they have got to be recognized. This fear of industrial/Goth/metal or whatever useless tag you wanna chuck this way has to be dropped.

Tonight sees a band at the peak of their game. The set is mainly cuts from their new album, Liebe Ist Für Alle Da (top 20 in the USA and across Europe - huge in Russia) and still have the place rocking. They were dark, funny and surreal at each turn with a stage show that dwarfs any other.

Now normally I'm a hater of stage shows - phonies like Kiss can kiss my ass, all those props to cover up a rotten band make it even duller. But with Rammstein the fire-breathing, baby-eating apocalyptic stage show is such part and parcel of their schtick that it cannot be brushed aside.

There is, of course, the fire - loads of it - you can feel its heat on your face as another outrageous flame hits the roof. Rammstein breathe it in, they breathe it out, they fire it over the crowd, and at one point a stage invader runs between the band members and they set fire to him- the crowd gasps in disbelief before realising its possibly a pretend torching.

Frontman Til Lindemann Grapples with skinny freak keyboard player, Christian "Flake" Lorenz and shoves him in a tin bath, dousing him from a podium with barrels of fireworks. Lorenz emerges from the bath in a bizarre spangling outfit and spends the rest of the set playing his keys while walking on a treadmill.

Ten minutes later Lindemann sprays the audience with fake spunk from a ten foot cock cannon during the band's sex romp porn single, ‘Pussy' underlining the song's lusty sticky paged grot mag intent. The single, and its sleazoid video were banned from the same terrified mainstream media that has no fear of showing Girls Aloud's bump n'grind pussy-pushing, tit-flapping dance routines before the so called family threshold.

The band take every German stereotype and magnify them before shoving them back into the preconceived notions of Germanic culture. They laugh at the hypocrisy of the so-called guardians of taste like our own dear old Radio One, they ask questions by just being there. By refusing to play their last album, even though it sold enough to be a hit record, the BBC is made to look silly as Rammstein's panzer division powers its way through a worldwide stadium tour.

Of course they could not get away with this if the music was limp, weak or lame, but with the twin guitar assault on 11 out of 10 the band are taking no prisoners, Lindemann's remarkable operatic croon and grubby satanic growl give them the crucial edge. The stomping, pounding grooves become songs, and his charismatic presence dominates the space. They sound really fucking heavy, like Killing Joke before them Rammstein meld techno and trance with their sound, making them eminently danceable.

Killing Joke are a neat comparison. There is that wild-eyed insanity and cutting sense of malevolent wit, that enjoyment of pressing all the wrong buttons and that dance metal distortion thing going on. Misunderstood is how band like this like it. Rammstein sing of porn, cannibalism, death and darkness, they smirk at the confused and they somehow turn it into a monstrous showbizness spectacle.

You have to go and see them.

This is the best show out on the road this year.

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BIGDADDY
Feb 7, 2010 1:01am

'And yet the band is virtually ignored by the mainstream media who are tied up in knots over the world of indie'

So true.

Everything in metal is ignored by the mainstream media, which is what makes it so brilliant. It's a religion. The mainstream media will never unstand it fully.
Hope ther enjoyin their N-dubz.

Yes it's a disgrace that a genre like metal (built on the foundations that bands can actually play their insturements with such technicallity & creatviity) is ignored
I was there at the LG along with 15,000 other metalheads. The best live gig of my life.

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robert
Feb 7, 2010 2:24am

hi, well I was there and this was a memorable concert by any standards. The mainstream media only ignore them because they dont understand the music... (language) and anyways they only cover acts which sell on primetime tv, or their self indulgant self promotion (awards) or stupid x-factor style tv shows - they need only a few HUGE acts to keep themselves (record companies) alive. Rammstein are in the middle.. and dont seem to deserve any attention. Very odd really.

Rammstein do have a place, that is on the fringe.. MASSIVE in the world for popularity... but against the grain of mainstream. Just a bit too good maybe?

They have the best live show in the world. For certain, and certainly one of the best sounding PA ever (even with MEN arena having shitty acoustics. The sound was deep and full but so much more than usual. Oasis had a good live sound for example but Rammstein was way better. I mean by a mile :-)

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robert
Feb 7, 2010 2:24am

hi, well I was there and this was a memorable concert by any standards. The mainstream media only ignore them because they dont understand the music... (language) and anyways they only cover acts which sell on primetime tv, or their self indulgant self promotion (awards) or stupid x-factor style tv shows - they need only a few HUGE acts to keep themselves (record companies) alive. Rammstein are in the middle.. and dont seem to deserve any attention. Very odd really.

Rammstein do have a place, that is on the fringe.. MASSIVE in the world for popularity... but against the grain of mainstream. Just a bit too good maybe?

They have the best live show in the world. For certain, and certainly one of the best sounding PA ever (even with MEN arena having shitty acoustics. The sound was deep and full but so much more than usual. Oasis had a good live sound for example but Rammstein was way better. I mean by a mile :-)

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robert
Feb 7, 2010 2:29am

If you cheeck youtube channel robertsc1 I have posted 7 videos of the very night.. for the world to enjoy and wish they had been

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Haifisch
Feb 8, 2010 9:20am

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome! That's all I can say! They blew me away - literally! And I was sitting in the lower tier well away from the stage!!! Best band I have ever seen, and best live show ever. And I've seen a LOT of bands. Funny. Poetic. Musical. Genius.

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Morrigan
Feb 8, 2010 12:15pm

"The single, and its sleazoid video were banned from the same terrified mainstream media that has no fear of showing Girls Aloud's bump n'grind pussy-pushing, tit-flapping dance routines before the so called family threshold." Nail on the head. This is why I LOVE Rammstein. They take the things that our society simultaneously embraces and rejects, without acknowledging that they can be two sides of the same coin. The black, white and many shades of grey that sex comes in seem to be the theme of "Liebe..." The whole album is taking sex and pushing its dark side in our faces, (figuratively and literally from the sound of the prop-usage at the concert) and screams at us "This is sex. this is what you are really drooling over. Be honest and start dealing with sex. It's not this over-marketed, slick, glamorous thing that involves brainless living dolls. It is human and has the potential to be fragile, twisted, wonderful, and as abusive as any human being." Or they could just be arsing around with us all. Can't wait to see them tonight in Mannheim!

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Qwerty
Feb 9, 2010 12:13pm

If I'm not mistaken Rammstein has listed Killing Joke as an influence on their music in the past. In any case, they're two of the greatest bands you'll ever see have the opportunity to see live in your life.

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Kacker
Feb 9, 2010 2:18pm

The media just cant handle the awesomeness

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Brother Grimm
Feb 9, 2010 8:35pm

there's something that makes this uncomfortable

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J
Feb 10, 2010 5:15am

John Robb, you're a treasure in the world of journalism. Write more, your saucy attitude and literary flair are delightful. Thanks for being the one guy who wrote the only article, out of all that I've read about Rammstein, that does them justice with the written word.

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Mma
Feb 10, 2010 12:56pm

I really don't understand this obsession with being recognised by the mainstream media - you want it to recognise RAMMS+EIN but then you ridicule it for it's hypocrisies. RAMMS+EIN are doing a worldwide tour at the moment in tens of countries, sold out arenas, hundreds of thousands pounds worth of merchandise being moved. They're going to make shitloads of money from these shows and they have millions of dedicated fans all over the world - so WHAT is the obsession with being recognised by the 'mainstream' media?

They'd just ruin RAMMS+EIN, they don't need the publicity and they don't need anything being recognised by the mainstream media would give them. So what's the point?

RAMMS+EIN rocks!

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Brother Grimm
Feb 10, 2010 8:26pm

best gig of my life my arse

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Emunk
Mar 23, 2010 2:25am

My god. This is the best review I have ever read in my life. HAHA!! The Manchester show was actually to amazing for words, I still dream about it now. You're review sir has made my day.

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Apr 25, 2010 4:57am

la maldita maquina industrial alemana rammstein nici

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