Concert Review – Rammstein (Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal, QC, 08/21/2022)

Vielen Dank für eine unvergessliche Nacht in Montreal, Rammstein!

OPENING ACT: Duo Jatekok or Duo Abelard… or maybe both?

Although it’s already August 29, I’m posting this review retroactively to August 22 as I was away on vacation and didn’t even touch my laptop for the past week and a half, and only because the concert in question was beyond perfect to be “ignored” by The Headbanging Moose. Originally scheduled for August 20, 2020 at Parc Jean-Drapeau, and then rescheduled for August 22, 2021 and later for August 21, 2022, Neue Deutsche Härte masters RAMMSTEIN were finally able to return to Canada for one hell of a concert after the Covid-19 pandemic madness seems to be over. I had been patiently waiting for this concert for the past two years, and I knew I wasn’t going to be disappointed at all.

However, prior to Rammstein hitting the stage, two piano duos named Duo Jatekok and Duo Abelard were scheduled for warming up the crowd. I have absolutely ZERO idea which duo ended up being the opening act, or if both were there playing simultaneously, because there was a massive thunderstorm right before the concert that made it impossible to get to Parc Jean-Drapeau before 7:30pm. Duo Jatekok is formed by Naïri Badal and Adélaïde Panaget, and they have been collaborating with Rammstein since 2017, which by the way will lead to an original crossover album named Jatekok plays Rammstein in the near future. Duo Abelard is comprised of Héloïse Hervouët and Katherine Nikitine, and based on what I heard they were supposed to deliver a pure Rammstein setlist including songs like Mutter, Diamant, Früling in Paris, Zeit and Deutschland. As I mentioned, I have no idea who played before Rammstein, but if you like piano music you should definitely give those girls a listen.

RAMMSTEIN

It was only around 8pm when the massive, futuristic/apocalyptic castle-inspired stage lit up the entire city of Montreal to the sound of the intro Music for the Royal Fireworks, by George Frideric Handel, hypnotizing all of the 50,000 fans at Parc Jean-Drapeau (and I still think there were a lot more people than that, maybe close to 60,000 or 65,000) before Till Lindemann, Richard Z. Kruspe, Paul Landers, Oliver Riedel, Christian “Flake” Lorenz and Christoph Schneider hit the stage with their unparalleled performance that lasted for about two unforgettable hours.

As aforementioned, due to the pandemic, RAMMSTEIN were forced to reschedule their performance in Montreal twice, one in 2019 and one in 2020, and that’s the main reason why this tour is a hybrid between their 2019 sef-titled album and their newest opus Zeit, and in my opinion that was a treat to all of their fans as not only we had the pleasure of listening to tons of classics such as Links 2-3-4, Mein Herz brennt and Heirate mich, but also to a bunch of amazing new songs the likes of Zeig dich, Zeit, Radio, Zick Zack and Ausländer.

I was lucky enough to grab a ticket for the “Feuerzone”, or the fire zone, which works like a VIP area that’s closer to the stage and where you can obviously experience all the fire blasted by Rammstein throughout their entire concert, and believe me, there was A LOT of fire, driving the temperature up considerably. A few songs such as Puppe and Rammstein became even more powerful due to all the fire used, and even if you were far, far back from the stage there was still plenty to enjoy as the entire presentation was majestic and incendiary.

Till Lindemann is a superb frontman that can be compared to Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford in terms of the way he captivates the audience from start to finish with his electrifying performance, but for me the man of the night was keyboardist Christian “Flake” Lorenz. He is such a cool guy, extremely talented and fun, and if you pay good attention to the band’s full performance he is the one that leads the way, spearheading his bandmates with his classy and awesome keys and synths from until the very last second of the concert, always dancing and having a very good time. Well, to be honest, the entire band was on absolute fire, but Christian was literally set on fire during Mein Teil, showing how much his bandmates and of course his fans love him.

As I said their entire setlist was insane, but of course there were a few songs that touched my heart, invaded my mind and took my soul to another dimension, those being their newest anthem Deutschland, their undisputed hit Du hast, my favorite Rammstein song ever Sonne, their funny hit Pussy, and their stunning piano version of Engel together with Duo Abelard (oh yes, there they were!) on a secondary stage which ended with the band being carried by the fans on white rescue boats back to the main stage. It was beyond epic. As a matter of fact, there are no words that could describe their live concert properly, but I can say that without a shadow of a doubt they’re the best live act of the current rock and metal scene, period. No other band in the world offers something so grandiose and unique to their audiences, and if I were you I would try to see them during this rare North American tour no matter what, as who knows, it might take another decade for them to return to Canada and the US (if they ever return). Vielen Dank, Rammstein! I’ll never forget such incredible night! Adieu, Goodbye, Auf Wiedersehen!

Setlist
Music for the Royal Fireworks (George Frideric Handel song)
Armee der Tristen
Zick Zack
Links 2-3-4
Sehnsucht
Zeig dich
Mein Herz brennt
Puppe
Heirate mich
Zeit
Deutschland (Remix by Richard Z. Kruspe)
Deutschland
Radio
Mein Teil
Du hast
Sonne

Encore:
Engel (with Duo Abelard) (Piano-Version, performed on B-stage)
Ausländer
Du riechst so gut
Pussy

Encore 2:
Rammstein
Ich will
Adieu
Sonne (Piano-Version)
Haifisch (Haiswing Remix by Olsen Involtini)
Ohne dich (Piano-Version)

Band members
Till Lindemann – lead vocals
Richard Z. Kruspe – lead guitar, backing vocals
Paul Landers – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Oliver Riedel – bass guitar
Christian “Flake” Lorenz – keyboards, samples, synthesizers
Christoph Schneider – drums, percussion

Album Review – Rammstein / Zeit (2022)

Germany’s own Neue Deutsche Härte institution wasted no time during the pandemic and is back in action with their fantastic eight full-length opus.

Driven by a growing need to fill the void created by the postponement of their tour, Germany’s own Neue Deutsche Härte institution Rammstein began writing new music during the initial COVID-19 lockdown, culminating now in 2022 with the release of the amazing Zeit, or “time” in English, the eighth studio album in their undisputed career and the follow-up to their 2019 critically acclaimed self-titled album. Recorded at Studios La Fabrique, produced by the band together with Olsen Involtini, and featuring a classy artwork depicting vocalist Till Lindemann, guitarists Richard Z. Kruspe and Paul Landers, bassist Oliver Riedel, keyboardist Christian “Flake” Lorenz and drummer Christoph Schneider walking down a staircase connected to the Trudelturm, a monument dedicated to aerial research located at Aerodynamic Park in Adlershof, Berlin (and by the way, the photo was taken by Canadian musician Bryan Adams), Zeit brings to our ears Rammstein’s trademark sound, creativity and energy, positioning it as one of the best albums of the year hands down.

Armee der Tristen (or “army of the dreary” in English) is pure Rammstein from the very first second, with Christian and Christoph generating a beautiful, melancholic atmosphere perfect for Till’s unique vocals, and after such hard-hitting start it’s time for the band to mesmerize our senses with the dark and heavy ballad Zeit, with Richard and Paul extracting minimalist but at the same time piercing riffs form their guitars. That obscure vibe goes on in Schwarz (“black”), with the rumbling bass by Oliver sounding even heavier than before, not to mention the massive, pounding drums by Christoph; and let’s get the party started with the headbanging tune Giftig (“toxic”), spearheaded by the machine-like kitchen by Oliver and Christoph while Till is on absolute fire on vocals, resulting in a great depiction of the band’s trademark Neue Deutsche Härte. Zick Zack (“snip snip”) not only has one of the funniest videos of the year, but the music is fantastic and catchy, and the lyrics are a thing of beauty if you understand German, of course. I bet it will sound superb when played live, whereas a background choir ignites the fats-paced, electrifying OK (the acronym for “ohne kondom”, or “without a condom”), with Till delivering his usual vocalizations accompanied by the wicked keys by Christian and the industrialized riffage by the band’s guitar duo.

Back to a more serious, somber mode, it’s time for Meine Tränen (“my tears”), another solid creation by Rammstein that alternates between slower moments and heavier, more epic passages, feeling dense and grim until the very last second; followed by Angst (“fear”), by far my favorite song of the album, bringing to our avid ears the band’s hammering beats and slashing guitars, all spiced up by another demented performance by Till on vocals giving life to the song’s austere words. No one will stand still to such banger, no doubt about that. And it looks like the band will keep crushing our skulls with their Industrial Metal in Dicke Titten (“fat tits”) as if the band was playing it on an assembly line, also displaying some ethereal moments led by Christian’s keys, resulting in a multi-layered composition that will surely become a fan-favorite. Lügen (“lies”) is most probably the weakest or less intense of all songs from the album, not as powerful as its predecessors, where Christian’s keys are amazing as usual but the vocal effects are somewhat irritating (therefore stealing some of the song’s punch), and lastly we have Adieu (“farewell”), a stunning farewell by the band (which makes me wonder if this is going to be their last album ever) where the music is deep, emotive and heavy just the way we like it, and with all band members offering Till exactly what he needs to shine on vocals one final time.

Such insane album of Neue Deutsche Härte infused with Industrial Metal and Rock can be enjoyed in full on Spotify, or you can also purchase your favorite version of it by clicking HERE, adding to your personal collection another avalanche of awesomeness by the one and only Rammstein. Also, don’t forget to give the guys a shout on Facebook and on Instagram, and to subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their unique videos. Just like high quality wine, Rammstein keeps getting better and better as time passes by, but always remember that time waits for no one, and instead of wasting your time with bad music simply hit play on Zeit and be a much happier person to the sound of Rammstein’s unparalleled creations.

Best moments of the album: Zick Zack, OK, Angst and Adieu.

Worst moments of the album: Lügen.

Released in 2022 Universal Music

Track listing
1. Armee der Tristen 3:25
2. Zeit 5:21
3. Schwarz 4:18
4. Giftig 3:08
5. Zick Zack 4:04
6. OK 4:03
7. Meine Tränen 3:57
8. Angst  3:44
9. Dicke Titten 3:38
10. Lügen 3:49
11. Adieu 4:39

Band members
Till Lindemann – lead vocals
Richard Z. Kruspe – lead guitar, backing vocals
Paul Landers – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Oliver Riedel – bass guitar
Christian “Flake” Lorenz – keyboards, samples, synthesizers
Christoph Schneider – drums, percussion