Rising above the crowd in their intense entranceThe other day, I had the oppertunity to see Rammstein preform live in Cleveland.

The show was amazing. Jaw dropping. Fantastic. Artistic. Beautiful. It was simply the best performance in a concert I have seen in my life so far. They may not be my favorite band, and it may not have been my favorite concert (but certainly DAMN close), but as a live show it was just pure artistic entertainment.

First off, their opening "band" was different than most. They had a DJ (whose name, I never learned sadly) play remixes of Rammstein songs. It was kind of a double Rammstein experience, hearing remixed versions of the album versions before the live show. The DJ wasn't bad. He pumped up the crowd, threw out glow rings, did some live mixing. The bridge over the audience to the revealed stage.The stage, at that time, was simply a white sheet everything completely hidden. So he had cool projections on the sheet that were in sync to the music. One the audio started, it didn't stop, one song mixed right into the other.

As the DJ ended his set, he had the crowd start chanting "RAMMSTEIN! RAMMSTEIN!" over and over, louder and louder, until suddenly, the main show began.  Rammstein's entrance was the best I have ever seen. I have seen quite a range from entrances before. From a white sheeting dropping down mid-song, to running through the crowd up to the stage, to simply walking out from backstage and start playing. Before this, I have to say my favorite was Slayer. They where simple, they just cut the lights and wait for the crowd to start chanting This picture didn't come out well, but that is green fire across the whole stage."SLAYER! SLAYER! SLAYER!" until they just walk out and start playing. But Rammstein took a very different approch. It was equal parts cool and badass, with a bit of scary thrown in.

Right after the last time the DJ had the crowd yell "RAMMSTEIN!" one last time there was a series of explosions, sparklers, and co2 conisters going off on the scaffolding over the concert and the whole rig started to decend down upon the audience. Loud creaking factory sounds played as it lowered itself in position making a bridge from the stage to a point floating over the middle/back of the arena. Then smoke started coming out of the main entrance to the arena by the expensive box seats. Through the smoke, you could just barely make out a bright torch. The torch guiding their way, the 6 members of the band walked slowly out of the fog Fire rained down on Tilland into the light of the arena and through the audience as the crowd roared. The walked down to a roped off section of the arena floor just under where the mid-air bridge ended, and climbed onto a platform that started to lift up, bringing them well above the heads of everybody on the ground, and they walked single file one at a time across the bridge on onto the main stage. Which, by now, the curtain had fallen on and huge blindingly bright factory lights came out, making it hard to see the details of the stage as the lights were pointed at the audience.

Got this as a poster!Then as they reach the stage, the bridge started to lift up, and Till (lead singer) turns to the audience and starts singing as the lights readjust to the bands new location and the show begans. That text description pales in comparason to the energetic feeling there was during the show itself, or seeing the whole arena start to move and explode now just in projections of images on screens, but in actual props that are actually on fire. Feeling the heat as every blast goes off.

Flame thrower masks. You heard me right.I thought I had seen "pyrotechnics" used in concerts before. I was wrong. They had so much use of explosions and fire. Not just like, flare ups of flash paper or a puff of mushroom cloud, but like full on jets of flameable liquid being sprayed through all sorts of surfaces on the stage, or through actual flamethrowers they wielded throughout the show (sometimes pointed at each other!) and even through flame thrower masks strapped to their face. If they looked down, the audience would have been burned! I have never seen pyrotechnics like that before in a show.

No American performers I know who are as popular as they are would ever do such risky stunts as they did during the show. Till was smashing glass on his head and beating himself with whips and with his microphone, "You've got a pussy, I have a dick. So what's the problem? Let's do it quick"while the rest of the band was firing flares at each other jumping out of the way just in time for little sparks/explosions to go off where they were standing. If they jumped a half second later, they'd get burnt. They had perfect timing, of course, but each of them have to be worth millions of dollars in personal wealth. If one of them so much as minorly burns a hand and it effects their performance, they'd lose hundreds of thousands of dollars from missing even just one show.

Yet, they did it, because it was art, and because it made the show that much more unique and amazing.

Crawling to the b-stage, being whipped along the wall.For the encore, they even used the bridge to go back to that small platform in the middle of the arena, and played 3 songs from there. Using it as a small (maybe 12' by 8'?) B stage in the middle of the crowd. The energy was so intense with that change. From the million dollar sets and lights, to them less than 6' from their screaming fans. It was a good progression, and really showed how they weren't just there to play music, but to also connect with the fans in a way I've never seen other performers of their popularity do.

During the entire show, Till only spoke two times that weren't part of a song. At the "end" of the show, before the encore, they all stood on stage and together arms in the air waving Till said "Ladies and Gentleman, Rammstein!"The B-stage then they promtly left the stage, and it got dark, and there was a huge unending roar from the crowd for the encore. They came back not once, but twice for two encores. At the end of the last encore, the 6 of them gathered in center stage, the lights went bright white and lit up the room, and they each kneeled to the ground, while Flake continued to play on his keyboard on one knee, Till said simply "Thank you, Cleveland"

Rammstein was the best performance I have ever seen in a live show. It will be tough to match. I am so glad I had the oppertunity to see them live while I could, they don't tour America very often.

The end of the show, just as they stood up from kneeing and were about to walk off stage.

I urge you, if you ever have a chance to see them live, regardless of how much of a rock/metal fan you are, you should go see the show. I may not speak german, but I can still appricate how poetic and true their lyrics are, and how important their messages is. 

Ich bin die Ecke aller Räume
Ich bin der Schatten aller Bäume
In meiner Kette fehlt kein Glied
wenn die Lust von hinten zieht
Mein Geschlecht schimpft mich Verräter
Ich bin der Alptraum aller Väter

Mann gegen Mann!