Read our pre-show interview with Paul Landers of Rammstein.
WHERE: The Forum
The show at The Forum was surreal. We've seen hundreds of shows of all genres on all scales but there is truly nothing like a Rammstein show. For the majority of attendees this was the first time they had ever seen Rammstein, or any show of this scale.
Friday night was headed in a bad direction: The box office had lost an entire group of media passes. As we stood at the ramp, patiently waiting alongside several other victims of the same fate we heard it, the first explosive bang of the night. Everyone looked around, silently sharing the anguish. We were all being denied epic amounts of epic.
Loads of the dirty little details:
From outside we could hear "Rammlied" and "Weidmann's Hell" playing. Moments later somebody came out waving envelopes, at last, the golden ticket! They were handed out and everyone was rushed in.
Rammstein promised Los Angeles an incredible show and they delivered in spades. With production that makes KISS and Lady Gaga look lazy, Rammstein boldly stomped their way through the set. All the while, the staff of The Forum gathered in the walk ways, pointing at the stage and looking utterly confused.
The raw display of power lasted nearly two hours. There were enormous lights that smoothly crept in and out of the rafters and an enormous HR Giger-esque stage with moving risers. And, of course, there were a half dozen fire trucks outside for a reason, fire, lots and lots of fire. Fire from the floor, fire from the ceiling, people on fire, fire from Rammstein's faces, fire was everywhere.
The heat was tremendous, even at far distances. The folks on the floor however got the full shock and awe experience they came for.
For "Feuer Frei!" they brought a fan favorite stunt that involves strapping flame throwers to their faces. Yes, you read that right, flame throwers to their faces. It's not a new stunt but possibly their most impressive.
New stunts include an enormous penis Lindemann rides that shoots foam at the end of "Pussy" covering everything in a thick layer of white something-or-other. The staff didn't seem to enjoy the joke nearly as much as the fans.
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They played "Frühling in Paris," which may be their best ballad to date, and we're not just saying that because it takes from the Edith Piaf song "Non, je ne regretted rien."
Of course they brought out the boat, but not until the encore during the song "Haifisch," from their new album. Every Rammstein fan knows about the boat. They put Flake in it and send him out to the fans, a stunt he clearly seems to despise.
Whether or not "Du Hast" is a personal favorite, what happened at The Forum Friday night was staggering.
The show was enormously satisfying, from beginning to end, and it's a sad morning for anybody who missed it.