Rammstein - Live Performances

Live Performances

Rammstein have achieved particular fame for their hugely over-the-top stage show, using so many pyrotechnics that fans eventually coined the motto "Other bands play, Rammstein burns!" (a quip at Manowar's song "Kings of Metal", which states, "other bands play, Manowar kills"). After an accident in the Arena in Berlin where some burning decoration parts fell (27 September 1996) the band used professionals to handle the pyrotechnics; Lindemann is now a licensed pyrotechnician who spends entire songs engulfed head-to-toe in flames. He has suffered multiple burns on his ears, hair and arms.

The heat is so intense that on occasion, people have been carried out of Rammstein concerts suffering from heat exhaustion, and lighting gantries have been seen glowing red-hot from repeated fireball hits. The variety of the pyrotechnics can be seen in a recent concert playlist, which includes such items as "Lycopodium Masks", "Glitterburst Truss", "Pyrostrobes", "Comets", "Flash Trays" and "Mortar Hits".

The band's costumes are equally outlandish. During the Reise, Reise tour, they wore Lederhosen, corsets and vague military uniforms with stahlhelms, while during the Mutter tour the group kept to the themes of the album artwork and descended onto the stage from a giant uterus while wearing diapers.

Since the Mutter-Tour, starting in 2001, Rammstein have worked with stage designer Roy Bennett, who helped the band in developing the look of the stages. With the Reise, Reise-Tour (2004/2005), the band began using a two-level stage, with half the band playing the lower level, as the other half was placed at the upper. At this tour, the upper level rose over 2 metres above the stage floor, and had an oval entrance, just beneath the drums. At both sides of the upper level, a special lift made it possible for the band members to access both stage levels. On the LIFAD-Tour (starting 2009), the new stage still had a two-level design. This time, however, the upper level only had about half the height as on the previous tour. Stage entrance was possible by a hydraulic ramp in the middle of the stage floor. At each end of the upper level, stairs are placed in order to gain access to both levels.

This tour does not only include lots of pyrotechnics, but also a massive lighting show - for example, the famous band logo-cross as big lamps and four enormous collapsible towers, forming the industrial backdrop of the set, capable of doing different lighting effects.

According to Kruspe, the on-stage wackiness is entirely deliberate (Rammstein's motto according to Schneider is: "Do your own thing. And overdo it!"). The aim is to get people's attention and have fun at the same time.

"You have to understand that 99 per cent of the people don't understand the lyrics, so you have to come up with something to keep the drama in the show," he said.

"We have to do something. We like to have a show; we like to play with fire. We do have a sense of humour. We do laugh about it; we have fun ... but we're not Spinal Tap. We take the music and the lyrics seriously."

"It's a combination of humour, theatre and our East German culture, you know?"

Their onstage antics have also led them to trouble. During their stint on the American Family Values Tour 1998, alongside acts such as rapper Ice Cube, Korn, Limp Bizkit and Orgy, the band was arrested for indecency. In one of the more infamous moments vocalist Till Lindemann engaged in simulated sodomy with keyboardist Lorenz during their performance of "Bück dich" in Worcester, Massachusetts. They were subsequently arrested and fined $25 and spent one night in jail. The band attempted to appeal the fine, and spent more in legal fees and court fees than the $25 fine.

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