Concert day, final big event of the Summer, not final concert though. Rammstein again after quite a few years since I last saw them. It was a bit of a struggle to get a ticket because initially the show sold out in a matter of minutes and I had to pay extra attention to possible ticket releases – which I did. And for the first time I was going to see them perform with the full pyro gear.
I was excited to finally attend an event on Stockholm Olympic Stadium which opened in 1912, I’ve only seen the venue as a tourist. But I guess I was more excited to see Rammstein. I will always remember the first time I saw them and I have to say that I recognised some of their stage performance acts. I can’t wait to see them again as soon as I have the chance to do that. This time I knew it was going to be special but I didn’t know in what direction that special would lead.
The organisation of the concert was quite smooth and it was easy to get in, buy a drink and listen to the opening act Duo Jatekok play piano covers of Rammstein from the Klavier album. The break between the opening act and Rammstein was quite short and at 20:30 the band went on stage but not before a plea to enjoy the concert and not film it. I listened to that advice, took some snaps here and there and in other moments I just left my phone in my pocket. This show was to be seen with my own eyes, not through a telephone screen.
The set-up of the stage was imposing, big turbine-like-decorations, industrial towers, plenty of loudspeakers. Interesting and scary to watch. Well, imagine that the moment the concert started and the lights went on, all impressions and perceptions increased incredibly much. It was going to be a mind-blowing performance and an one-of-a-kind experience and you didn’t need too much to realise it. Rammstein are loud. And besides their music being loud their shows are visual, from the way they enter the stage and scrutinise the audience to literally going out with a bang. The atmosphere they created was industrial, a bit apocalyptical even, given the clouds of black smoke that their pyro equipment was shooting to the sky. The August Stockholm sky helped too, as the filtered light of the sunset met some really dark clouds somewhere above us all. The dark setting was several times replaced with light, just to go back to a frightening hazy frame on the screen on top of the stage. Close-ups with the members of the band in their stage costumes made me feel like we were being watched, the band’s logo was ruling on top of the stage as a coat of arms. But there were no brainwashed zombies watching the screens and pledging their legions. There were a lot of people with smiles on their faces, dancing, head banging, singing along, raising their fist and jumping off their seats whenever a favourite song started (though I cannot imagine how people actually sit at a Rammstein concert, I think I annoyed at least a few of those sitting behind me because at a certain moment I just got up). And if you think that there was only anger around think again: at their sing-along piano version of Engel featuring Duo Jatekok we actually grabbed each other by the shoulders and started swaying to the music. That changed soon though because right after a few moments the encore started and that was even louder. It is really hard to put in words how I got to live that concert. It was not just about the music. If I listen to Rammstein, even some of their live recordings, the experience of that is not even half of the one of seeing them live. Their gigs are not for the faint-hearted. The ones who want to have a full-on-ride through Rammstein-land or just put themselves in an amazingly cool circumstance a concert with the full pyro gear is the thing to see/be at/watch/listen/breathe. You’d understand what I mean by that when you see the flames go up to the beat of Du Hast.
The crowd got crazy when hearing the hits included in the encore and Ich Will was a fiery closing of an already intense performance: from loud sounds, black smoke, cauldrons, the Flake-Till tandem, an electro remix of Deutschland with 4 of the guys dancing in glow-in-the-dark costumes to the band kneeling in front of the audience and taking the elevator up to the burning wings on top of the stage, waving to us from up there and disappearing in a loud explosion just so everything could fade away on the piano version of Sonne. Every single moment, every single detail were perfectly planned for an ultimate experience. A different king of concert, a different kind of performance and one of the best and coolest things I’ve ever seen.