Sonisphere Festival: Rammstein steal the show
HEADLINERS Alice Cooper and Iron Maiden may have delivered typically polished performances, but German industrial rockers Rammstein were undoubtedly the stars of this year’s Sonisphere Festival at Knebworth.
Some 50,000 rock fans from across the globe packed the grounds of Knebworth Park last Saturday, waiting patiently for the six-piece to take the stage for the first time at a UK festival.
Then, unexpectedly, a massive German flag unfurled, covering the Apollo stage in its entirety.
As the crowd roared its approval, I immediately knew we were in store for something special, for I can envisage no other situation when the displaying of a German ensign on British shores would be greeted with such adulation.
Then, as the flag fell to the ground and Rammstein appeared, my eardrums were assailed with what can only be described as some of the most brutal metal I’ve ever heard.
But it wasn’t just the music that captured the imagination.
For Rammstein had brought nine articulated lorries with them from Berlin, containing a total of, ahem, 22 tonnes of pyrotechnics.
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In the run-up to the festival, organiser Stuart Galbraith said the show would incorporate the biggest firework and special effects display he’d put on in 25 years in the music business.
And on the evidence last Saturday night, I can well believe it.
As flame-throwers launched from microphones, lead singer Till Lindemann fired a huge blunderbuss towards the sky, before keyboard player Christian ‘Flake’ Lorenz decided to go crowd-surfing in an inflatable dinghy.
Another highlight saw Till sit astride and then squirt the crowd with a foam cannon.
As the hour-and-a-half long show neared its conclusion, renditions of Du Hast, Sonne and Ich Will sent the crowd into a frenzy.
The fact that Rammstein’s set was sung almost exclusively in German didn’t matter a jot.
For it is, and no doubt will remain, one of the best gigs I’ve ever had the pleasure of going to see.