Writing and Photography by Bobby Talamine
Edited by Fiza Javid
Soldier Field - Chicago, IL - 9/3/22
Rammstein's Mind Blowing Juggernaut of a show hits Soldier Field in Chicago
Known for their exclusive pyrotechnics.
Known for their use of sophisticated production techniques- like replicating an intimidating tower of might on the back side of the stage, looking like something out of a Fritz Lang movie, like "Metropolis", circa late 1920's.
Intimidating as always, with a show of force and might to capture their live audience by the throat, even towards the back of the venue, and command you to listen until the very very end.
This is fierce stuff folks, if you've never witnessed such a spectacle firsthand.
They are push the envelope performers, as they've always been, since I first photographed them back in 1998.
Yes, Till Lindemann and the rest of his cohorts in Rammstein have over the years had moments when they've been brazen, in performance rituals and antics, along with imagery and theatrical reenactments of some pretty morbid events, some of which are still in their production to the present day.
That statement is in no way a slight on them- in fact, it's just the opposite.
To stoke controversy, in my opinion, and have your hand at the ready, with not letting off any tells, a la the game of poker, to provoke, and then unleash the consequential belittlement that you so rightly deserve for questioning anything related to such topics, well, let's just say you're in for a treat.
They love that you're upset, and that you haven't done your homework.
They know the term firsthand "Contempt prior to investigation".
And so they're somewhat insulated from all the bullshit that comes their way, although somewhat aware as well.
I bring this up because the slights I hear from fellow reviewers, posts online through social media, with friends I know, amaze me as much as if I were in the band.
I'm too tired and too damn busy to throw my thoughts into the mire of bullshit, knowing full well that the best way to speak is though reviews such as this, and let my pictures do the talking.
But this kind of show- an outdoor similar to a major festival production made of gargantuan proportions makes you stop in your tracks.
There's so many avenues to convey the beauty of it all, even prior to the performance, when the gates open, and you take it all in from the back of the bowl of the stadium you're in.
Just watching people's faces time and time again, entering the venue at the 100 level and seeing them soak it all in, let alone the costumes and dress up- all of this never gets old at a Rammstein show.
Had to convey this somewhat in my iPhone pictures- a couple sitting comfortably, and she has a bright red mohawk.
Or the guy wearing a Nacho Libre mask, hanging out with his buds prior to the show.
Let alone the main floor of Soldier Field, and the massive display of a stage to the north, compared to the tiny dots of people slowly filling up the ground floor field before the show.
All of this is amazing, almost equal to the actual performance, with a setlist that covers the gamut, some 21 songs in total, including two encores.
The last encore- those are the pictures from the performance that were allowed.
I could go on in detail of not more coverage, but keeping things simple- I'd rather focus on the beauty of the song "Rammstein" from the second encore, and the use of the sophisticated pyro backpack that Till Lindemann displays in conjunction to the actual song, and the timing of it all.
It's a beautiful and shock and awe thing to behold, the immensity of the peacock pyro jutting out in a perfect semi circle. time and time again perfect to the beat of music- let alone the guitar pyro from stage left with Richard Kruspe, and stage right with Paul Landers.
The timing between the three of them is impeccable- leaving you with the hairs on your arms standing on end in absolute amazement.
I don't want or need to get all technical here- but look at the pictures with Till and that pyro backpack.
Can you think of any other band that can pull this off?
Can you think of any other band that has the wherewithal to utilize such a display of might and force with such artistic beauty?
I believe you can't.
And their entire show astounds in similar fashion, from the opening entry music to Handel's "Music for the Royal Fireworks", which rises up the gigantic tower the Rammstein insignia, to the roar of the Chicago crowd.
And off we go into opener "Armee der Tristen", the opening song from their latest release- "Zeit", then into "Zick Zack", also from "Zeit".
And why not?
Their latest album swings and pops and makes you move, especially the title song "Zeit", which has its fair share of eye popping lighting at full display.
The whole night was like this, with their iconic numbers in full display of pyro on top of pyro with a little more pyro- "Sehnsucht", "Zeig Dich", "Heirate mich", and "Sonne" in particular.
Some pyro so full on you feel the heat like you're on the gas burner yourself popping off the frying pan.
It's a sonic sensory overload, but done in the highest order imaginable leaving nothing to the imagination.
They're providing the scope of dreams for you, well in advance.
So let it be said for the remaining North American dates- East Rutherford on Tuesday, Foxborough on Friday, San Antonio on the 17th, Los Angeles on the 23rd and 24th- you're nuts if you don't witness this spectacle firsthand.
Bobby Talamine - JBTV Music Television Chicago