RAMMSTEIN Triumphs Over Montreal!

August 24, 2022, a month ago

Photos: Thomas Mazzerolles / Words: Albert Lamoureux

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Most of us have either seen Rammstein in concert or have seen footage of their live performances and know how outrageous their concerts are. With that in mind, fans we more than excite to go to the Parc Jean-Drapeau to see them kickoff their North American stadium tour in Montreal on August 21 at Parc Jean-Drapeau, and it was not a severe thunderstorm warning that would stop them!

There was no escaping it, the forecast indicated rain and it rained, in fact, it rained plenty!

Nonetheless, this was not going to deny the fans from seeing this special event and they rushed in as soon as the gates opened in order to find the best spot in front of this massive stage. I am not using this term lightly as we are talking about a 200-foot-wide, 120-foot tall, 300-ton fire breathing metal beast that took four days to assemble.

Weather was on our side and the clouds cleared the area just in time as the Duo Abélard was getting ready to start their hour-long set on the small B stage located just outside the feuerzone. The two pianists are regular openers for Rammstein in Europe, and they began to set a mood with their piano rendition of many Rammstein songs. I can’t say that they captured the crowd’s attention, but their playing was flawless and if you are a musician, you really appreciated their set and they did a great job in setting the mood for what was yet to come.

It was now time to see what our Europeans counterpart have been experiencing, Rammstein and their super, mega, ultra ginormous production!

Drummer Christoph Schneider emerged on stage as the metal beast come to life.  The Rammstein logo rises up the middle screen and what could be described as enormous satellites or fans at the top of the structure light up the whole area.

Surprising the 43,000 excited fans with huge pyros while the rest of the band comes on stage to the rhythm of the song "Armee Der Tristen", the wall of sound hits us all. As expected, their music is powerful, but well balanced and we can easily discern every instrument, something that rarely happens in arena concerts and it is extremely rare at outdoor events. The band followed with the song "Zick Zack" and the crowd sang along without hesitation. After playing a few songs from their most recent album, the band dug into their back catalogue with the songs "Links 2-3-4", "Sehnsucht" and "Zeig Dich". With each song we could feel the intensity creeping up a notch. As ‘Mein Herz Brennt’ started, the 1000 lights on stage turned fiery red and got the mood set for that darker song.

As mighty as this production is, it is still their first show out of fourteen in North America and the band have a few issues with the keyboard sound that was dropping off here and there for brief moments in the first song. It also took a few songs for the crew to get the two giant screens working at each end of the stage. Once that was done, the Germans were pounding metal like there was no tomorrow.

As usual, we witnessed the blazing baby carriage during the song "Puppe" and the band had a refreshing choreography where they appeared disguised as dancing stick men during the extended instrumental introduction of the song "Deutschland". The psychedelic vibe was very well done and gave the show a well-deserved breather before the heavier portion of that song. The one thing that always strikes me during their show is that with all these effects and choreography, the band can’t really interact with the crowd except for a few specific parts in the show and always hope that they would add a few more of these moments in their set.

It was now time for this well-oiled German machine to bring out the heavy hitters. And it was with no surprise that he fans sang, clapped their hands and banged their heads on "Radio" and "Mein Teil". But with all this action, fans still had their eyes glued on the stage to see Till Lindemann use his flame cannon to roast Lorenz in his makeshift BBQ. I have no clue if the inflation of price of the pyro fuel was comparable to the one on the gas price, but that does not stop these Germans to burn a ton of it and they show us just how much they like fire during "Du Hast". 

The Duo Abélard was back on the B stage playing "Engel" on their pianos as the band joined them to sing while asking the crowd lit the place with their cell phones. This is something you usually see in arenas, but in this outdoor area, it really gave us the magical ambiance created with that song. The band chose a more direct way to head back to the main stage and crowd surfed on inflatable rafts!

The band played not one, but two encores and Till straddled his huge di**, I mean cannon during the song "Pussy" and showered the crowd with foam and confetti. Did you ever notice that Till really likes to play with fire? Well, if you still had any doubts, you can clearly see him having fun when using his flame-throwing backpack during the song "Rammstein". But it was during ‘Sonne’ that the burners were set to maximum, and flames were surging from the back and the front of the stage as well as from the top of the towers located in the crowd. The combination of fire, heat and lights made it feel like this is the end of the world. The band kept on going with the heaviest riff with the song "Ich Will" before ending this fire extravaganza that we call a concert with the song "Adieu".

Just to show you have crazy this show is in numbers, each show needs 90 trucks to transport the 1,350-ton show. It contains 586 pyro effects, 1,070 stage lights, 36 smoke machines. It also burns about 1,000 litres of pyro fuel and uses almost 900 pounds of confetti!

If you were living on the south shore of Montreal or in the downtime area, it was normal that you heard the two and a half hour of this musical event because the band uses 170 amplifiers that generate a total output to 2,040,000 watts!!!!

Rammstein’s music might not be revolutionary and some might dare say it is generic, but this stadium production is simply out of this world and needs to be experienced first hand!

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