Rammstein: an excess of sound and… flames

And many of us wanted to see and hear the Berlin group. No less than 43,000 spectators showed up on the island, some more daring than others. The most die-hard fans set up as close as possible to the 200-foot-wide stage, in the feuerzone. This is where the frequency of jets of flamethrowers from the main structure, the four rear towers as well as the portable flamethrowers and the cannon fire give the impression of being in the middle of a perpetual open-air BBQ.

However, no need to be so close to appreciate the quality of the musical offer of the band to Till Lindemann. With over 170 LA12X amps, Rammstein had over two million (!) watts of sound at his disposal. And you could hear it… At Parc Jean-Drapeau, of course, but also in Saint-Lambert, Boucherville, Saint-Bruno, in short, everywhere in the metropolitan area. During the concert, social networks were inundated with comments from people who heard the heavy frequencies of Oliver Riedel’s bass and Christoph Schneider’s drums perfectly.

Despite this surge of sound, it wasn’t all about volume. The definition of the guitars of Richard Kruspe and Paul Landers as well as the keyboards of Christian Lorenz was impeccable. One of the best sound qualities ever heard for a concert of this magnitude.

Why, Rammstein?

This is the question I asked myself ten years ago when I went to see the Germans at the Bell Centre. I walked out of there completely stunned. And convinced. That said, can people like Rammstein if they are not followers of industrial metal and, above all, if they understand nothing of Goethe’s language?

The answer came to me in recent days through several friends and acquaintances who told me they wanted to be at the concert… for the concert, precisely. For the spectacular side of the performance. For the collective release worthy of any metal event. A comment read on social networks was particularly revealing: I don’t like their music, but their shows are so crazy.

Crazy? No doubt. But also unifiers, especially if we take the trouble to go further than the undeniable interest of the group’s vitaminized music.

First notes heard at 8:06 p.m.… those of Music For the Royal Fireworks, by Georg Friedrich Handel. Classical music, yeah. All this to bring us to Army of Trisen, a song where legions of sad and desperate people are offered an outstretched hand to join the party of the hopeless in order to find happiness again.

Do not be afraid. My German is limited to the dozen or so common words jabbered in Berlin a few years ago, but there is a French site (Rammsteinworld.com) that offers translations of all of the band’s songs. We can thus better measure the depth of the songs of the group, even, a certain poetry of Lindemann.

Sometimes, despite the language barrier, the message is crystal clear. At the end of the main set, the members of Rammstein performed on the small raised stage Engel (Angel) – a nod to another German, Wim Venders? – with the female duo of French pianists (Jatekok) who delivered the first part. A moment of calm and beauty in this often stormy concert.

Instead of walking back to the main stage, the band members returned there by riding in dinghies as the thousands of spectators surfed overhead. Arrived on stage, one of the members of Rammstein showed a sign on which Wilkommen (welcome) was written. Pigé: welcome migrants.

Heavy

It’s obvious that a priori, it is not necessarily what holds the attention of the Quebecer who loves Rammstein for his music with metal alloy above all. Zick Zack announces the color with dominant guitars and a coloring of the keyboards of Lorenz who plays… while riding a treadmill. Fit, sir.

Notice that some Rammstein songs make you want to take a good step forward, like Links 2-3-4 with its onset of military marching cadence that has all the charge of a Panzer division. Others, like Sechsuchth, make you want to run at full throttle, especially when 43,000 spectators beat the clock.

In the center of the structure, a giant screen could show the group’s logo or scroll through images of variable height. What looked like four oversized fans were actually major groupings of some of the 1070 spot lights. Never seen so much confetti in a concert either. It was for just under 900 pounds…

Biting, cross-hatched guitars, heavy bass, drums pounding like a sledgehammer, pyrotechnic effects galore – over 500 in total: any viewer who had visual depth of field – park background, platform – may not have not be seen the same spectacle as those who felt the heat of the flames near the stage, particularly during Mein tell, when Lindemann used a cannon to target Lorenz, who had sat in a basin wearing an asbestos suit. These guys are crazy.

Lindemann took his concept even further on the rappel during Rammstein with his own flamethrower backpack. The guy is an arsonist, but mastered at this point, his obsession becomes an art. These are also during From hast – explosive – and rings – insane – that the concert reached its climax when all the burners spat everywhere. Even placed on the platform, you could feel the heat of the flames. ringswritten more than 20 years ago for boxer Vitali Klitschko’s ring entrances, is a bit of a tribute these days, now that the Ukrainian is defending his city of Kyiv, of which he is mayor.

After two hours and 15 minutes of this regime, the Germans put an end to this explosion of sound and… flames with Goodbyewhere the Farewell, Goodbye, Auf Wiedersehen seemed very appropriate.

We assume that one day there will be a comeback, a sequel, another concert. But it’s unlikely to be as over the top and memorable as this one.

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