Rammstein @ All State Arena, Rosemont (US)

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RAMMSTEIN / COMBICHRIST

Date: 10th May, 2011
Venue: All State Arena
Ticket: $70 - $90 ( €50 - €63)
Promoter: n/a


It was a really hot and humid day! Actually, I was shocked seeing the temperature hitting the 30oC mark but it was also a RAMMSTEIN day. The German industrial teutonic band had commenced a US tour and Chicago could not but to be included in the schedule. So, it was no brainer that I had to make my way to the nice All State Arena almost immediately after work. But, if you really want to do something you do it without complaining, right?

Minutes after I had entered the venue I heard the crowd cheering and I rushed to my seat in order not miss RAMMSTEIN’s intro. But, that Tuesday turned into a unlucky Friday the 13th since COMBICHRIST were jumping up and down the stage. I felt almost annoyed since this electro band did mesh with my nerves some months ago when I had the chance to watch the first RAMMSTEIN European date in Portugal. Obviously, their music has nothing to do with my aesthetics and I think they were an odd choice from RAMMSTEIN. I tried in vain to find something good in their set but the two drum kits were hitting me like hammers while the only Metal element –the guitar– was totally lost in the mix. Why do they need two drummers when the keyboards do all the work? I have to admit though, that they gave a energetic performance and made the front rows move to their grooves that I thought was a single song; everything was sounding the same...

COMBICHRIST setlist:

01. “Shut Up And Swallow”
02. “Follow The Trail Of Blood”
03. “Get Your Body Beat”
04. “Deathbed”
05. “Throat Full of Glass”
06. “Never Surrender”
07. “What the Fuck Is Wrong With You?”

COMBICHRIST

Combichrist @ All State Arena (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgako) Combichrist @ All State Arena (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgako) Combichrist @ All State Arena (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgako)

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The electro martyr ended after almost 30 minutes so with a sigh of relief I made my way to the arena to find a good spot for the Germans’ show. As I said, I had watched the band in the current tour so I knew there were a lot of chances to see something different. But, hope never dies...

After a short delay with the preparations (they had to fix the center microphone stand) the lights went out, the audience went crazy and RAMMSTEIN started “demolishing” the wall that blocked their way to the stage. Of course, Lindemann came last after cutting his way through a metallic door and everyone screamed on top of their lungs. I think this charismatic frontman has more to offer on stage than in the studio; his poses, his theatrical grimaces are some of his strongest points and then comes the singing part. So, with a light in his mouth and a stiff body pose sung the lyrics of “Rammlied”. I did not expect that reaction from the US fans taking into account the German lyrics and the fact that this band has not made a real hit in the radio. The sound was loud, clear and was not affected by the high ceiling of the stadium (no annoying echo was produced). But, I felt a little disappointed since the show was following the pattern I watched in Portugal. “They could have added something to get something more from the US”, I thought a couple of times but with a sold out stadium and an almost ecstatic how can I be complaining?

Without stopping and as the lights turned red the German well-oiled machine continued with “B********”. It was great looking the band occupying the entire stage with the industrial aesthetics and the “Metropolis” (B/W sci fi movie) looking set up. The guitarists Richard Z. Kruspe and Paul H. Landers were standing on the far sides of the stage while Oliver "Ollie" Riedel was on right of the drum kit on an elevated level. On the left side of the drum set was the ultra cult persona of Christian "Flake" Lorenz. This guy was amazing and was doing things out of the blue like dancing in a real bizarre and funny way or my exchanging “insults” and gestures with the singer. Besides Lindemann he is an important part of RAMMSTEIN and this is why the singer acknowledged him in the end of the show.

“Waidmanns Heil” was next and it was time for the first explosions; the singer showed up with a big riffle making more poses until he fired the thing in an upward direction causing more explosions and some pyro effects filling the stage with flames!

I was relieved watching the flames grow that high as in Portugal since I had my doubts with the rough security laws here in the US. And here I have to comment on the recent “disease” that has broken out after the enormous evolution of the mobile phones; most of the times you could see mobiles held in the air filming and photographing everything. On top of that I saw many guys and girls sending a picture to their facebook page during the concert! Sometimes this showing off gets into my nerves and proves how close the social networks we think that have brought us together (yeah right).

“Feuer Frei!” featured the impressive and without doubt dangerous stunt from the guitarists and the singer with the mouth flame throwers! I have watched this live (as I said) and many times in youtube but I cannot but get shivers down my spine every time. I don’t know who comes up with all these ideas but he does a great job. The show was slowing reaching a climax with the exploding baby dolls in “Wiener Blut” and the bath tub stunt during “Ich Tu Dir Weh”. Lindemann grabbed Flake, threw him in a bath tub and poured flames on him while standing almost 3 meters above the stage. Of course, Flake resurrected wearing a sparkling suit, danced with his bizarre style to celebrate before returning to his keyboards. Next, flames' stop was “Benzin” where a stuntman pretending to be a fan was set ablaze from Lindemann who used a fuel hose and everyone was shouting and cheering in an absolute connection with the Germans. The massive “Matrix” hit “Du Hast” was impressively sung by the US fans while “Pussy” featured the dick-looking foam throwing gun bringing the set in the first end! Despite it was a sold out show one could stand in the arena and watch the show without being hassled by the pushing around and the mosh-pit festivities (yes, a mosh-pit in a RAMMSTEIN show) that I have to admit I enjoyed to the maximum!

Of course, there was an encore and how could not be one? The US fans know how to create a cheering atmosphere like they do in hockey, basketball, football and even in the hard for me to understand baseball. RAMMSTEIN came back and did “Sonne” and “Haifisch”. During the latter Flake did his trademark inflated boat thing and spread waves of enthusiasm by waving the Illinois state flag. A second goodnight followed but no one moved an inch since it was time for the final encore. While the crowd was shouting RAMMSTEIN, RAMMSTEIN...” it was time for me to watch something I hadn’t in the Portugal show. Lindemann came on stage wearing angel wings that spread wide during the chorus of “Engel”. But, that was not all; flames started coming out of the wings and in the back of the stage giving a powerful ending to the show with many loud explosions! And then it was time to say the final goodbye; Lindemann thanked the Chicago fans and added that it was a special day since it was Christoph "Doom" Schneider’s birthday. So, under the keyboard tunes everyone sung the classic birthday song feeding the general joy.

The bottom line is that RAMMSTEIN know how to give an impressive show and seem to do that every night despite the fact they are touring for more than a year. I really hope that the German band will soon make another stop to the US and serve us with a show with more flames, explosions, on stage happenings and their at least interesting artistic ideas!

This review is dedicated to MV

RAMMSTEIN setlit:

01. “Rammlied”
02. “B********”
03. “Waidmanns Heil”
04. “Keine Lust”
05. “Weißes Fleisch”
06. “Feuer Frei!”
07. “Wiener Blut”
08. “Fruhling In Paris”
09. “Ich Tu Dir Weh”
10. “Du Riechst So Gut”
11. “Benzin”
12. “Links 2-3-4”
13. “Du Hast”
14. “Pussy”
15. “Sonne”
16. “Haifisch”
17. “Ich will”
18. “Engel”

RAMMSTEIN

Rammstein @ All State Arena (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgako) Rammstein @ All State Arena (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgako) Rammstein @ All State Arena (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgako) Rammstein @ All State Arena (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgako)
Rammstein @ All State Arena (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgako) Rammstein @ All State Arena (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgako) Rammstein @ All State Arena (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgako) Rammstein @ All State Arena (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgako)

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