To look at Rammstein today is to see a band without limit. Pushing what a live show could and should be as far as they can, from cooking keyboardists to giant babies, they are untouchable when it comes to putting on a spectacle. But the truth is that pushing these limits isn't a new thing for the band. It's not even something that has been their focus for the last decade. You can go all the way back to the beginning of their journey and see that they were always destined to march to their own extravagant beat.
So, let's visit 1996. Rammstein are playing in Köln as part of Bizarre Festival, and event that also featured Iggy Pop, The Offspring, NOFX, Weezer, Skunk Anansie and Prong just to name a few. The band were set to play the second day, which was headlined by the legendary Die Toten Hosen. They had released their debut album Herzeleid a year earlier, hitting the ground running with their intense, cast-iron take on industrial metal and were raring to show what they were made of on stage. And from the very first off-kilter notes played on Flake Lorenz's keyboards, it is impossible to take your eyes off them.
There's vocalist Till Lindemann sporting chain mail that has been set ablaze during opener Rammstein. There's the way that Flake dances across the stage whilst the rest of the band stands by without moving a muscle. There are the incredible outfits, each member standing out in their own unique way, from silver shorts to dressing gowns. There's the intensity and intricacy of every song they play, expressed with a stomping brute force and a fascinating sense of drama. To see the band so young, so early in their career, is to see the origins of so many different factors that are now synonymous with Rammstein. Not a single fuck is given, but every inch of emotion is felt, and that is something that we know carried on for the next near thirty years.
Have a watch of the band's performance for yourself. It's an absolute riot.
Rammstein released their latest album Zeit last year. They recently shared a dramatic, daring and decadent video for closing track, Adieu. It needs to be seen to be believed.