Hey everybody! Long time no see! I've been busy with the lovely drama that is graduating from college. But I did it! Melissa, the girl I went to Rammstein with, and I have both graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison!
I'm completely school free for the first time in my life! That means I can really get back to blogging!
Today's blog is about the Rammstein concert at the Allstate Arena (which is near Chicago). The show was totally fucking awesome, but the setlist was identical to the show I saw in New York, so I'm going to keep this blog pretty brief to avoid repetition. For anyone who wants an extremely detailed Rammstein concert review, you can visit my New York post here:
Anyways, this was an exciting show for me because I was already completely school free by the time it happened. I went with my friend Melissa, who was with me at the New York show as well, and I was also finally able to see Rammstein with my parents! Originally, I was supposed to see Rammstein in New York with my parents, but my mom became too sick to go, so my parents abandoned their tickets (one of which went to Melissa). We thought they'd never finally get to see Rammstein - one of their favorite bands - but thank goodness Rammstein finally decided to do a full American tour!
Anyways, we made it to the Allstate Arena right as doors were opening. My dad wanted merchandise, and it honestly took about forty minutes to get through the merchandise line. Then we headed straight into the venue. Turned out we had awesome seats! Even better than New York! Floor level, not far behind the pit, dead center. Just like New York, Chicago's opener was the Norwegian band Combichrist:
Good thing we went in right away, because Combichrist started about seven minutes early. They didn't do the big show with the screens and the lights and stuff like they did in New York, but it was still awesome, because Combichrist is awesome. They're a ton of fun, and they create such a huge, booming, grungy atmosphere. I sat there nodding my head and tapping my legs in time to the music. The two drummers are so into it, and the vocalist seemed even more on fire than last time. I liked their setlist better this time too. I highly recommend this band to anyone who really likes industrial-ish music.
Anyways, Combichrist was done by 8:30, then it was time to start setting up for Rammstein. Unfortunately, right before the time I was sure Rammstein would come on stage (after some microphone stands were already set up), I realized I had to go to the bathroom really bad, so I wound up making a frantic dash out of the arena. On the way back, I could hear screaming, so I thought I blew it but, luckily, it was a false alarm.
I did get back in time to see a smack-down, though. Some dumbass without a wrist band decided to sneak into the pit, but a security guard caught him and pushed him out. So that idiot waited a second, then jumped back into the pit. At that point, security pushed him out and another guard came to force him back up the stairs. But then that dumb kid resisted! Next thing we knew, security threw that kid to the fucking ground self-defense style. Ouch. Needless to say, that dumbass was escorted from the arena.
Anyways, the show started with the same awesome entrance as last time, where Rammstein each broke down a black backdrop. I didn't realize it last time, but they knocked the backdrop down with their guitars. Then a circle of flames cut the backdrop open and Till pushed through and stepped down a ramp onto the stage wearing a red apron, a hairnet, and feathers around his face.
Time for Rammstein!
Here's the setlist:
Frühling in Paris
Ich tu dir Weh
Du riechst so gut
Anyways, because this is the same setlist as last time, I'm not going to do a song-by-song review. Instead, I'm just going to discuss highlights and differences from last time.
First of all, the show was fucking awesome. Rammstein are just so much fun. I was headbanging and dancing around like crazy without a care in the world, because why the hell not! The band was really on fire. They didn't have that tentative, cautious air to them that they had in New York. This time they were ready to really fuck Chicago up. Till was pelvic thrusting during the very first song, which was met by a chorus of screaming from the crowd. By Waidmann's Heil the fire was flying and Till was stomping around with a giant rifle that was longer than he is tall.
One of the more amusing moments of the night was during Weißes Fleisch. Flake did his usual spaz dance across the stage and Till decided to stomp towards him like a zombie with his arms held out, pushing him back across the stage. That kind of thing happened last time, too, but this time Till decided to actually catch up with Flake. He grabbed Flake and started pushing him down, until he'd completely dominated him to the floor. Then he grabbed Flake's head, and the two decided to imitate oral sex right on stage. Oh, Rammstein... you've always got to out-controversial everyone else! Gotta love it!
Also, during Feuer frei!, when the dragon masks came out, the entire arena lit up with the lights of everyone's cameras and cell phones. Wow. Um, I think we all know what the dragon masks look like by now, don't we? Do we really need more poor-quality cell phone YouTube uploads of it? Anyways, I thought that was kinda funny. And the dragon masks were fucking awesome as usual!
The real show-stealer of the night was Weiner Blut. When we saw Rammstein in New York, Weiner Blut blew me away as one of the best acts of the night, and it was even more awesome in Chicago. The song began, just like before, with Till crawling on his knees waving his finger in the air in time to an old orchestral record. Behind him was a sort of "mock basement" with a lamp and a record player and everything. Melissa and I decided to wave our finger in the air to the music as well. Then, after a few lines of song, the stage went black. Now, just like last time, they lowered about twenty baby dolls from the ceiling. But this time, as the babies lowered from the ceiling, green laser beams shot from their eyes and scanned across the audience, like they were judging us from above. In New York, I remember the babies had glowing green eyes, but they didn't shoot lasers or scan the audience. It was sooooo eerie. Anyway, the song was awesome and included the part where the nooses holding up the babies explode, dropping them to the floor. But what was really creepy was, when Rammstein moved into the slow, pretty song Frühling in Paris, the babies lying all over the stage were still lying on the ground, shooting green lasers up into the air or into the crowd. It was totally freaky and awesome.
Some rather weird technical shit went down during Du riechst so gut. I'm not sure what happened, but Till got distracted by something over on Paul's side and missed the first few lines. Then Paul disappeared from the stage. Whatever happened, Till missed the beginning of the second verse too. I couldn't tell if his microphone cut out or if he got distracted again. What was really weird was that Paul didn't come back for, like, half the song. I actually started to get worried. But then he came back and everything was fine. Just some weird technical shit, I guess.
Also, they played Du Hast, and it was kind of awesome. I've already established on this blog that the song is so overplayed that I don't care for it anymore, but the Chicago fans fuckin' rocked it. I'll admit, Melissa and I were kinda joking about the Chicago fans before the show because they all seemed kinda... I dunno... weird, I guess. But honestly, the Chicago fans were awesome - I'd dare say more awesome than the New York fans. They definitely moved more, rocked out more, and yelled louder than the New York fans. During Du Hast, Till was able to get us to shout both verses of "Du! Du hast! Du hast mich!" at the top of our lungs. During the chorus, an adorable couple standing in front of us grabbed hands and jumped up and down in time to the music. Nearby, a group of about twelve guys raised their arms in unison every time the keyboard played that synthesized choir voice. There was this one awesome guy down in the pit who was dancing around and rocking out like crazy during the whole show. He was so crazy and awesome that he got high-fives from people in the front row. I saw one guy headbang so much he had to sit down. The New York fans were kinda stiff, but the Chicago fans totally let go and made it that much more fun. And I think Rammstein responded even more positively to the atmosphere at the Allstate Arena.
Seriously, Chicago-area Rammstein fans... you guys rocked. I give a major shout out to you guys!
Anyways, Rammstein ended Round 1 with a great performance of Pussy, complete with a giant penis cannon. Yay! Melissa and I decided to do like we did last time and throw a big, exaggerated shrug every time Till sang, "so what's the problem?!" The people behind us liked it so much they all started doing it. Yay, we set a trend!
When Round 1 was done, Rammstein bowed, and Till said, "Thank you very, very much, Chicago. Dankeschön." Then the band took their leave of the stage.
But of course they came back! During Round 2, they did Haifisch and Flake was able to crowd raft. And he rafted far! The Chicago crowd was really respectful about not rocking the raft around and they made sure to move Flake wherever he wanted, so he was able to raft almost all the way to the end of the pit and back!
After Rammstein left, the Allstate Arena fans were actually able to coordinate a full, arena-wide Rammstein chant to get the band to come back! People in the front row even started banging the barrier in time to the chanting. Needless to say, Rammstein returned quite quickly for Round 3! They came back to do Engel, during which Till wore the awesome, giant, robot angel wings. So cool! Just like with Feuer frei!, this performance caused the entire arena to light up with camera and cell phone screens.
When the song was over, Rammstein came to the front of the stage and took their bows again - except Flake who stayed at the treadmill/keyboard. Then Till held up a finger and said, "Listen! Today is a very special day!" The whole audience became dead silent. Then Till said, "today is Mr. Schneider's birthday!" For those who don't know, Mr. Schneider is Doom, Rammstein's drummer! Aaaaaaaaw! I looked it up, and Doom turned 45 years young at our concert! Anyways, Flake played Happy Birthday on the keyboard and the entire audience sang Happy Birthday to Doom while the staff brought out a birthday cake and Doom received hugs from his band mates. OMG so cuuuuuuute!!! Yeah, I squee-ed, what of it? The band took more bows and let Doom be the last one on stage, so he could get lots of extra cheering and waving.
And then the show was over!
Overall, totally fucking awesome! The Chicago fans rocked it, Rammstein rocked it, and it was amazing! And my parents finally got to see Rammstein live! A good fucking time all around!!!
\m/ ( ^ _ ^ ) \m/