Revew / photos: Rammstein reign in fire, theatricality at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa
As industrial enthusiasts are well aware, Rammstein was in Tampa Saturday night to kick off their North American part of their "Made In Germany" tour, and the Tampa Bay Times Forum was happy to be their host.
Anyone that is familiar with Rammstein's live performances knows they are known for pyrotechnics, and it's a show that would make Kiss nervous. Tickets should have been sold with a warning sign reading, "No hairspray allowed." And while I am struggling to get my Doberman Pinscher insured, somehow these guys have enough liability coverage to produce a show like World War III in front of a few thousand onlookers. Go figure.
From the start of the show, Rammstein didn't disappoint. Flames were thrown 30 feet above the stage, and it just got better from there. Vocalist Till Lindemann took the stage with six microphones strapped to his chest like a soldier wearing grenades into battle, and a battlefield-like show is what we received. Missile-like objects were zinging over the crowd; flames shooting from any available orifice on stage. Even microphone stands were victim to flame. And with stage show antics throughout the night that GWAR would aprove of, (including slaves on chains, soaking the crowd with foam and blood-like matter), no one on the floor was safe from a good dousing.
As always, all six members of the original Rammstein lineup were on stage. All songs were performed in German, and there was no English stage banter during the show. German flags waved in the crowd, and I was surprised at how many German fans attended. I walked by several crowds before and after the show speaking fluent German.
Part of the show was performed from a second center stage in the arena, with a floating bridge to transport the cast. In a risky move, keyboardist Christian Lorenz surprised the crowd by using an actual rubber raft to crowd surf, sitting there while hands lifted him through the crowd and safely back to the stage. That's one way to show trust in your audience.
Two encores ended the night. It was a great show that you really had to see to understand. Photos will not do this show justice. Many fans I spoke with said it was the best visual show they have seen. The sound was great, as expected. All I missed was bringing some hotdogs to throw on the Rammstein fire pit. Maybe next time.
Review / photos by Andrew Carlton, tbt*