Show Review & Photos: Rammstein @ the Tacoma Dome

Rammstein @ the Tacoma Dome, 5/14
Review & photos by Dagmar

I’m not really sure what just happened to me, but I think I just saw a Rammstein concert. Let me rephrase that, I know I saw a Rammstein concert but I am not sure what it did to me. There was fire. There were explosions. There was one gimp onstage, plenty of leather and metal on the band, there was showmanship plus supreme sounds and vocals.

I am going to make no secret of the fact that I love Rammstein. They have never misfired on any song. Their videos are fascinating, their image just as fascinating, and to see a Rammstein show after so many years? Well, I think I had a really big grin stuck on my face throughout the show. As most American fans, I got my first exposure to Rammstein via “Du Hast,” off their second release,Sehnsucht – a song which remains their most recognizable. The video for “Du Hast” demanded that I found out more about this German band.


Rammstein

Rammstein’s created five shining albums since 1995, plus last year’s compilation. I wondered what they would sound like live, and the sound quality at this show was perfect. I could make out all the lyrics, and the lyrics are very important in Rammstein songs. You don’t know any German? Familiarize yourself with the translations just enough to follow along. It’s well worth it. Do you need to understand German to enjoy the music? No, but it will add to your experience, as any amount of research into say, seeing an opera would help.

Which brings me to opera. Conceptually Rammstein reminds me as much of opera as it does industrial or metal. Maybe an especially wicked and violent opera. Why? The sheer enormity of what they’re doing onstage. The band breathes fire; they take risks that are insane. I am sure it’s all safe enough, but as close as I was taking photos it seemed like some dangerous engineering. For “Engel,” Singer Till Lindemann appeared onstage in angel wings, which folded and unfolded – and shot fire. Also Lindemann’s voice is cruel, forceful and completely captivating.


Rammstein

Midway through the show a giant ramp extended from the stage to a smaller stage at the other end of the venue. Four of Rammstein were led (as in the “Mein Teil” video), while on all fours, via a leash held by drummer Christoph Schneider. After everyone got situated, then performed “Bück Dich,” “Mann Gegen Mann,” and their beautiful ballad “Ohne Dich.” Gorgeous.

Photographers were allowed to photograph songs 6, 7, 8 of the show. This meant I got to see the performance of one of my favorites, “Mutter,” up close. I caught “Sehnsucht” while waiting, another favorite. “Mein Teil” featured a gimp in a saucepan, with Lindemann as a bloodied butcher equipped with a knife and the world’s hugest cooking torch. And “Haifisch,” another of Rammstein’s more sensitive songs, was moving. Other standouts for me were “Mein Herz Brennt,” “Ich Will” and “Engel” – all passionate songs.

The show ended with a second encore ending with “Pussy,” featuring Lindemann riding a giant pink rocket, which spurted foam. “Pussy” should have been a much bigger hit in the States. It’s damned catchy, it’s in English, it’s funny. Censors ruin everything. The audience appreciated it anyway.

I really felt among fellow fans who get Rammstein’s humor, power, intensity, significance and Lindemann’s poetry. I never thought I’d get to see this band live, and it was a high point surpassing all hopes.


Rammstein



Rammstein

Gallery of Rammstein @ the Tacoma Dome

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8 thoughts on “Show Review & Photos: Rammstein @ the Tacoma Dome

  1. Pingback: Tacoma photos part 3 and a review | We Are Rammstein

  2. I was very much there and about three rows deep (most of the time, anyway, hahaha~). My sentiments mirrored your own as I was walking out of the dome—I had to readjust my core & senses. What a totally demolishing grace it was to’ve experienced their Art so viscerally. Your photos are exemplary and your overview of their show gave it its well due praises. Cheers.

    *One thing that you might note is that the song accompanied by the cauldron, flamethrower, and bloodied Till was “Mein Teil” rather than “Du Riechst So Gut” 🙂

  3. Thank you! Readjusting core and senses capture the experience!

    And oops, in my mania I wrote the wrong song down. Fixed 🙂

  4. Great show.. Also give credit to band for having a totally different stage set & song list, than their appearance a year earlier. Loved the entrance of the band emerging from the crowd – very appropriate symbolism given the love their fans have for them…

    I agree that a Rammstein show is an experience rather than a mere concert, & having attended shows since the early 80s I have seen my share. Certainly few bands can rival them. Am proud that they like Iron Maiden, play by their own rule book and refuse to dilute what Rammstein are about…

    My hope is that the internal chemistry and energy of the band remains strong. They seem to now have the US in their sights again and would love to see them attain the kind of success here that they manage in so many other nations. Love that they will not compromise though, so perhaps that will limit their commercial appeal here. Given they are promoting a retrospective cd of their past, they now have the chance to decide what direction the next challenge will be.

  5. I was front row center at this show and I loved every second of it. I even caught one of Schneider’s drumsticks at the end! You did a wonderful job of capturing the performance. Thanks for posting these.

  6. My son and I saw both of the 2011 and 2012 shows from almost exactly the same location. Since I’m disabled that location would be the ADA platform at the bottom of the second deck fairly close to the stage. After some discussion we are agreed in this critique.

    PRE-SHOW: Last year the concert opened with a small set from KombiChrist. I don’t actually care if I misspelled thier name because they sucked ass. Pro tip … Volume < Quality. They'd do well to learn that one. This year there was an insufferable DJ playing clips and mixes of the damn songs we were already going to hear. And, some should have yanked his power cord about 30 minutes before he left the stage. WAY too repetitive and WAY too long. In short both of the 2011 and 2012 preshows sucked donkey balls.

    ACTUAL SHOW: Well, it's fucking Rammstein, so of course both years were excellent. Which was better? That's a really tough call because while the set list for 2012 was way more to my liking, the sound quality was not. It sounded like they were playing through blown speakers and it was a damn shame to have to hear a band with such a superb stage presence play in that environment.

    OTHER THOUGHTS: Despite the sound quality issues I got to see Mein Tiel, Asche zu Asche, and Amerika (which most people don't realize is a song criticizing our imperialism) live. AND, like last year, they closed with Pussy. Totally awesome.

  7. I was there as well, first row. And I must say I’ve never enjoyed being smashed so much. The opening to this review is brilliant, and about sums up my three Rammstein concert experiences. I can say right now, that the “what the hell did they just do to me” reaction, doesn’t ever change. The photos are beautiful, more so than many I’ve seen, and very nicely timed. Thank you, whoever you are, for understanding so well. You were, indeed, among fellow fans! And I solute you on your good taste.

  8. @robert

    you’re incorrect about a few things. Combichrist was good and joe lutz doing his skrillex impression was good. ((he’s also the drummer from combichrist))…okay so those are opinions…you’re not really “incorrect” in your opinions but the crowd on the floor was into joe this year…a bit less into combichrist last year but those of us who enjoyed them..they put on a good set

    anywho…they closed with engel last year…they closed with pussy this year…so you are wrong about what song they closed with.

    Thanks

    awesome pics to whomever took them.

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