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

Metal Chick of the Month – Ira Sidenko

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How to open your heart in the chaos of life? Learn to give and to share, to hustle and strive…

If you consider yourself a diehard fan of both old school and modern-day Death Metal, I’m certain you’ll have a very good time with our metal chick of the month of September. Not only she’s the owner of a potent and visceral voice, but her charisma, together with her onstage (and onscreen) performance, turn her into a must-listen and see for any admirer of first-class extreme music. I’m talking about the unstoppable Russian growler Ira Sidenko, also known as Irina Sidenko (or even Ирина Сиденко in Russian), the frontwoman for Tomsk, Russia-based Death Metal brigade Dehydrated, and a metalhead who is always expressing her passion for Heavy Metal through her music and art.

Born in the city of Tomsk, in Tomsk Oblast, a federal subject of Russia (an oblast) that lies in the southeastern West Siberian Plain, Ira studied at Tomsk State University, or TSU, known in her mother tongue as Томский Государственный Университет, or ТГУ, but it’s not clear exactly what course or courses she took at TSU. It was in 2008 when she founded Dehydrated (being named Dehydrated Entrails from 2008 until 2009, when they changed their name to the current one) together with guitarist Evgen Tsibulin, bassist Evgeny Zimin and drummer Alexey Ablayev, with only Ira and Evgen being still in the band from its original formation. Playing a fusion of classic Death Metal with other styles such as Deathcore, Grindcore, Groove Metal and even Progressive Metal, among others, the band didn’t know exactly what they wanted to play at first, but they knew it was going to be hard and aggressive, experimenting with several genres and subgenres of heavy music as aforementioned. By the way, when asked about the origin of the band’s name, Ira explained that’s how you feel after a concert, feeling dehydrated both physically and mentally after all the exchange of energy between the band and the crowd.

Having already played in several international festivals including Metal Head’s Mission (Ukraine), Metal Crowd (Belarus), Petrogrind (St. Petersburg), Metal Maidens (Kaluga), and Cieszanów Rock Festiwal (Poland), as well as tours around Russia and Eastern Europe, the band has unleashed upon humanity an array of high-quality albums and EP’s, those being the 2009 demo Suffering from Mummification, the full-lengths Duality of Existence (2011), Zone Beneath the Skin (2012) and Awake in Era (2012), the EP’s Mind Extract (2011), Piranha or Whale? (2019) and Piranha or Whale (Part II) (2020), and a 2011 split with the bands PureFilth, Grace Disgraced and Redrvm. Furthermore, in one of her interviews, Ira mentioned that her favorite Dehydrated album to date is Awake in Era, as she considers it more professional and more atmospheric than the other releases, with each of its songs representing a different story, but I’m sure that opinion will change with each of their releases just like what happens with any musician. And when asked about what Dehidrated means to her, she said that as music is her life, the band represents life to her, always showing a lot of love for her own work.

Dehydrated are a DIY band, doing everything themselves and relying a lot on the internet for sales and promotional activities just like countless underground bands worldwide. Ira mentioned that services like BandCamp, Spotify, Patreon and YouTube have been helping the band a lot with their promotion, but that at the same time they still have a hard time trying to organize tours all by themselves.  Hence, if you want to give the music by Dehydrated a try, you can stream all of their creations on BandCamp, on Spotify and on YouTube, where you can have an absolute blast with songs the likes of Hell Doesn’t Exist, Parallels, Sickness, Outlaws, Thirst of Dose, Werewolf, Alive Underground, Piranha or Whale, and their excellent covers for Motörhead’s Ace of Spades and Lake of Tears’ U.N.S.A.N.E.

Apart from her career with Dehydrated, you can also find Ira kicking some ass with a female-fronted metal band from Saint Petersburg, Russia named Fallcie for a while, and she can also be seen as a guest vocalist in the song А Время Шло, from the 2020 EP А Время Шло (or “time went on”) by Kaluga, Russia-based Melodic Death Metal band Last Trial. In addition, Ira is also an amazing online vocal coach as you can see on her own YouTube channel, not only providing some great tips to growlers worldwide, but also uploading to her channel cover versions for countless songs the likes of Slaughter to Prevail’s Hell, Rammstein’s Sonne, Linkin Park’s From the Inside, Decapitated’s Homo Sum, Death’s Without Judgement, Vader’s Hexenkessel, and Whitchapel’s I Dementia.

All those top-notch cover versions are not in vain, as all of those bands are also part of Ira’s idols and influences list. As a matter of fact, when asked about how she would define the sound by Dehydrated, she mentioned it’s a fusion of different styles from bands such as Death, Gojira, Animal as Leaders, and so on. Regarding her personal preferences, our beloved growler mentioned the first bands she fell in love with were Rammstein and Slipknot, later moving on to Black and Death Metal and getting absolutely addicted to that. Furthermore, the first time she heard a Death Metal band was when she got to know the music by Aborted, also getting hooked to the music by Whitechapel, Deicide and Vital Remains. However, Ira said she doesn’t have any limits when listening to music, being also a fan of Jazz, Blues, Grindcore and many other distinct styles, but of course always praising metal behemoths the likes of Motörhead, Manowar and Metallica.

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Ira also provided her view on how to become a metal vocalist in one of her interviews, saying that there’s no secret to that but several years of practice and studies (and tons of mistakes) and a never-ending desire to grow, always searching for the right sound and for professional development. Although she mentioned she hadn’t had an older brother to show her metal music, Ira mentioned she had a friend with whom she used to listen to Rammstein together, which inspired her to form a band and, later, as her taste for music became heavier and heavier, she naturally decided to learn how to do guttural by herself. Having the flexibility to sing in English, Russian and German, Ira believes her vocal performance and her confidence have improved a lot since the band’s 2009 debut demo Suffering from Mummification, again pointing out to the importance of constant learning to become a better vocalist.

When asked about the metal scene in Russia (and in Eastern Europe in general), she thinks the bands in Russia need to show more of their own culture and ideas when creating music instead of trying to mimic famous European or American bands, but of course she acknowledges there are tons of fantastic bands in her homeland such as Katalepsy and Arkona. Moreover, in regards to her hometown Tomsk, she said that there was a time when Siberia, where Tomsk is located, once had a very strong metal scene, but that has changed over time and today the scene is not as powerful and the attendance to metal concerts has dropped significantly. She complemented by saying that not only in Tomsk, but in the entire Russia (and maybe we can also add the rest of the world to the mix), you can only get in contact with metal music through the internet, as the radio and TV do not offer any space to bands like Dehydrated, and there aren’t any major festivals either to promote the bands. She still thinks that there are great bands coming from her hometown, though, such as Apokefale and Dark Revenge, which needless to say need our total support to avoid getting extinct.

Last but not least, our Russian growler believes that becoming a Death Metal vocalist isn’t easy at all, it doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman, but of course it can be a little bit tougher to girls depending on the situation due to the sexism that still happens in the metal community all over the world. She said that once in a while she’s the target of that sexism, but she doesn’t really care about it and keeps working hard to make Dehydrated a better band and to make herself a better vocalist. When asked about how she responds to those attacks, she said she simply doesn’t answer back to the haters, ignoring them on social media and focusing on what really matters, which is the opinion and support of her fans, her friends and her family. And to be fair, she’s more than right in doing so, avoiding bringing that negativity to her work as a musician, therefore keeping her haters screaming in anger (but not as greatly as her) for not engaging in a virtual battle with her. That’s how you recognize a true musician, and let’s hope Ira keeps growling in our faces for many years to come with her ass-kicking band.

Ira Sidenko’s Official VKontakte
Dehydrated’s Official Facebook page
Dehydrated’s Official VKontakte
Dehydrated’s Official Instagram
Dehydrated’s Official YouTube channel

“We are very pleased to be able to create and do what we like, we do not know for how long but the only certainty is that there is only one here and now. We look to the future positively.” – Ira Sidenko