Friday Night: Rammstein at Toyota Center

Categories: Aftermath

Rammstein may 28 3.JPG
Photos by Groovehouse
Rammstein
Toyota Center
May 25, 2012

See pics from Rammstein's fire-fueled concert in our slideshow.

When the house lights came up at the end of Friday night's Rammstein show, the crowd headed toward the exits and the custodial crew of the Toyota Center hit the floor. Mops in hand, they began the process of cleaning up the mass of sweat, foam and confetti that covered the arena floor.

It was the type of scene that wouldn't feel out of place in the aftermath of a LMFAO or Ke$ha concert, but the crowd that arrived at the venue hours earlier weren't there to party rock or get sleezy.

While the show may have featured the pyrotechnics, choreographed moves, costume changes and S&M overtones that pop up in so many of today's pop-star tours, Rammstein's was way louder and certainly more metal.


Ende der Straße* (End of the Road): After 20 dates in just over a month, Rammstein ended their "Made in Germany 1995-2011" tour with their first show in Houston in roughly forever. For longtime fans of the band who missed the chance to see the group circa the Mutter touring cycle of 2002, it was the reward for their loyalty and passion. For those fans' significant others and friends, it was the chance to see a lot of fire and explosions.


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Schauspiel (Spectacle): The word most frequently associated with the band, after "Germany," is "fire." There was a lot of that Friday night, in addition to explosions, smoke and sparks.

When it comes to spectacle, you really only have two options -- you can build up to one giant moment or you can go balls-to-the-wall and have something exciting/explosive with every song.

Rammstein falls into that latter category. Almost every song had a prop associated with it, in addition to the ever-changing lighting configuration. There were multiple backdrops, fake blood, a set on a mini stage in the back of the arena, and a keyboardist floating above the Sea of General Admission on an inflatable raft.

There was also a giant, foam-spewing penis, but more on that later.


Eröffnungsfeier (Opening Ceremony): To set the stage for their set, the band took the nontraditional route of having a DJ instead of a band for the opening act. Joe Letz of Combichrist took things in an even more unusual direction by doing a set made up exclusively of Rammstein remixes.

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It's one of those things that sound goofy on paper, but was surprisingly effective in practice, to a point. In a way it made sense: Crowds rarely show up to see the opening act anyway, so give them something familiar early to get the energy up for the main set.

Things went south slightly once Letz picked up a microphone to encourage the audience to cheer more in a segment that went on a bit too long. Still, it's easy to forgive that part of the show because the remixes he did were good, including a version of "Du Hast" (You Have) with a brostep chorus that was quite nice.

Once Letz exited the stage, a bridge straight out of a steampunk lover's dream descended from the rafters. It was the setup for the most theatrical part of the night: the band's arrival to the arena.

They came down the stairs in one of the sections of the lower bowl, single file, led by bassist Ollie Riedel, who was carrying their version of an Olympic torch. Other members of the group carried the band's flag as well as the Texas flag. The introduction ended with the lighting of an even bigger torch onstage, which signaled the beginning of their set.

Location Info

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Toyota Center

1510 Polk, Houston, TX

Category: Music


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6 comments
Rammstein Rocks
Rammstein Rocks

 I left during Pussy, and my friend I was with told me they had at least two more encores after that.  You clearly just copypasta'd the set list from Wikipedia or something, but really I'm commenting because I want to know what else they played.

Aika
Aika

Awesome show, but sucky fans. I've never been to a rock show where the fans were so lame. Everyone looked as if they stepped out of Hottopic, though I wont lie, I decked out in black Vivienne Westwood from head to toe and when my friend said she didn't know what to wear, I told her to put on some black clothes which was pretty much what everyone was wearing. Most of the people around me were old and drunk or punk ass booger nosed kids who should have been in bed sleeping. I'm 23 and there were freaking 8 year old kids next to me asking their mom if she could buy them sprite.One guy front of me was very drunk and dropped nachos on the floor then started smoking. I was expecting him to get kicked out but the security didn't take notice of him.  I even saw some people eating popcorn. Seriously who the hell does that at a rock show?  A band as good as Rammstein shouldn't have to work so hard to get a reaction from the fans. Many of the fans were busy taking pics or recording instead of rocking out and didn't know the lyrics even to the songs that have some parts in English.  A small moshpit formed in the back of the crowd but that was pretty much it. I expected people to pass out, loose their voices, and get bodily injuries which totally did not happen. 

McLovin
McLovin

Turned on to Rammstein over a decade ago.  Listened to their music, studied the lyrics,even wanted to learn German.  So whenthey came within distance I was there. You can see my vid of the Denver concert at:  http://youtu.be/oHYFDxqAeaY

 

I met some really cool people that looked incredibly killerwhile waiting outside.  People that weretotally decked out Goth style.  (Samantha"killer boots" and her boi Oliver, great people)  But I also saw some really fucked up, "Idon't ever want to be anywhere near you" kind of people.

 

I've never been so damn close to the front.  We got to the 2nd row.  The concert started at 8.  The doors opened at 7.  We got there at 2:30 that afternoon, but theparking did not open until 4.  Nice galat the medical marihuana shop offered her parking, thanks to Ian's (Lady'sstyle) smooth talking.  It's Sunday,everything is closed and this is an industrial area, so fitting.  LOL 

 

There was a small crowd out front but nothing bad, maybelike 30 people.  We found a place to hangour of the sun and hung out.  Then whenit got closer and the official parking opened up, more and more people startedlining up.

 

A bunch would be saving spots for their friends and otherswould walk right up to the front and hang out like they were there all day.(Fuckers!)  Those original 30 peopleturned into more like 150 when the doors opened.  We got through security pretty late but whenwe got our wristbands we lucked out because we went to the extreme end of thetables which had a smaller crowd.  So wegot right on the 2nd row just left of stage center.

 

We didn't want to be far from the rail because back a fewrows are where the mosh pits form and I didn't want any of that.

 

One guy got busted, he must have drunk too much beer and hepeed in his cup and tried to hide it. They caught him and threw his ass out onthe street. TY!  I actually wascalculating how long you can stand in the sun, how much caffeine, how longbefore your last piss, etc.  This is hardwork.

 

When the music started everything went nuts.  My pant legs were vibrating from the soundlike bird wings flapping.  I think maybebeing up so close we were in front of the sound focal points and avoided mostof the energy.  I still have my hearing.

 

We got squished by the crowd surge a couple of times, but Ihad my hand on the rail. There were always a few trying to push their wayforward in our backs.

 

I had my Marine boots on. I didn't want my feet to get stomped on. I was basically over prepared for the whole thing, but not knowing exactlywhat I was in for, I'm glad I was over prepared than under.  I even took a backup phone and backup glassesin there, cause I didn't know if everything would get broken or lost.

 

Some of people's outfits were pretty crazy.  This crowd was all Goth, big bad ass boots upto their knees with buckles.  Lots oftats, colored short hair, piercings, eye liner, shadow and lots ofleather.  So there I am in my commandogear.  It didn't quite match, but I didhave on my Rammstein t-shirt which most people had on.

Rammstein Rocks
Rammstein Rocks

Apparently I was unclear.  I left during Pussy.  My friend I was there with said after I left they had two more encores.  I trust the sober Dr. to tell me whether or not they played additional songs after I left, I doubt he was confused by the timing.  The people who created that page didn't actually go to the show, again just copypasta.  Were you at the show so you know that's just not copied and I'm wrong?

Craig Hlavaty
Craig Hlavaty

I think with a show of this scale and the pyro, you can't really jack with setlists. Things are timed, and the same setlist will be used for a full leg of a tour, unless there is some sort of glitch or sea change. Again, I could be wrong.

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