Aside from the fact that an abundance of pyrotechnics brings a certain amount of awe to live music, Rammstein’s Sunday night show at Denver Coliseum showed the audience members on this side of the pond what they’re missing over in Germany. From the giant stage, backed at times by a giant honeycomb-like wall that stood easily 25 feet high, to the constant explosions, steam jets and fireplay — the spectacle was inspiring.
It was like a Teutonic Cirque du Soleil — grimy, smoky and hot. And loud. On this, the celebratory “Made In Germany 1995 – 2011” tour, the Rammstein band members proved that they not only synthesized the Neue Deutsche Härte genre, but that they successfully made it an art.
The spacious stage looked as if it were flown in directly from ’80s East Germany – gray, hard, industrial. There was a trap door in the center that alternately lowered frontman Till Lindemann beneath the stage to retrieve gadgets (usually having something to do with fire) or served as a walk-up for members of the band in various guises. Gigantic circular light fixtures glowed above with cartoonish heating lamps, and the list of props they used seemed endless.
At one point, guitarists R. Kruspe and P. Landers followed Lindemann up the ramp from beneath the stage, all three adorned with creepy, flaming face masks that eventually became 20-foot plumes of blown fire as they played and sang. Later, dressed as a butcher and sporting a mic disguised as a large knife (and covered in blood) Lindemann wheeled a large cooking pot onstage. Keyboardist C. Lorenz was inside, ready to be cooked Looney-Tunes-style over a base lit with flamethrowers.
A little playful respect for fire and circus-sized dramatics, paired with German ingenuity, turned the historic Denver Coliseum into so much more than its current circus and rodeo-hosting status — if just for a few hours. And seemingly everyone loved it.
Tina Hagerling is a Denver photographer and regular contributor to Reverb. Check out more of her concert photography.