Saturday, March 25, 2017

set the night on fire

so since spring is coming and i want to make sure i'm doing all the fun things in 2017, i went to see a rammstein film on thursday.

i found this poster up on a community billboard the next day and you are damn right i snagged it for my bedroom wall.

i'd forgotten, really, how much i'd loved that band in my late teens and early twenties. they were a huge reason why my very first class in my very first year of university was german 100. people love to shit-talk how weird the german language is, but i've always adored how brutal and intimidating it can sound - especially when it happens to be rammstein (which i'd initially started listening to when i was 16 in order to disturb my parents - blasting "du hast" and "links 2-3-4" tend to do that - but then i fell hard for the angry deutsche industrial metal). nowadays? ehhh meine deutsche ist nicht sehr gut, but i have a passable understanding of it, anyway. (i can pick out a lot of words, but don't ask me to extensively conjugate verbs or anything. nein, bitte)

so now it's 2017, and when i saw that the royal was showing rammstein: paris - as it turns out, on a "world premiere" day when theatres around the world would be screening it (it's a filmed concert from 2012 that's only getting released now) - i was immediately down to reunite with my old lieben. along with fellow rammstein/all-things-german lover jenna (who actually got to see them in hamburg in 2001, and i was very jealous), we got some wine in us before we headed to the theatre to check it out.

and oh my god, it was a total blast.

honestly, i've been going to concerts for almost 18 years now, and i've never seen anything like a rammstein stage show. it was less of a concert than it was a theatrical production - props! costumes! fake blood! set changes! - surrounding live music. (plus: so much pyro. so many flamethrowers. every time you thought they couldn't top themselves, a bigger flamethrower or pyro cannon would appear onstage.) it didn't even feel weird to be clapping and cheering for what was essentially a movie, nor was it out of place for much of the crowd to be headbanging along and pumping a few fists as well. i was howling with delight at the full-on insanity of it, you guys. (i don't know how many times i excitedly yelled "whaaaaattt the fffffuuuuuckkk" at the screen)

a few other things i really love had bearing on this, i think: wagner (less on the man's gross politics, obviously, but more on the loud, intense german operas that he was famous for composing), fire (big fan), and sheer spectacle. i love me an over-the-top stage show, which probably also explains why i love pro wrestling so much (i'm a sucker for pyro, no matter what the setting), and it likely stems from growing up in a family that cherished andrew lloyd webber musicals. i saw the phantom of the opera, cats, oklahoma!, jesus christ superstar, and beauty & the beast before i was even 13. i've always had a soft spot for a stage production and, combined with my love of the gothic, dark, and absolutely bizarre, rammstein: paris was so satisfying that i wanted a cigarette afterward.

also, as with the omnipresent wrestling in my life, there's something just so fun about being reminded why you loved a thing (in this case, a very loud band) when you were younger, and then falling for it all over again. because it's not quite out of the blue, and you aren't a brand-new fan, so you at least have some foundation and background to your enjoyment. i was so into it that i went home and bought their made in germany: 1995-2011 compilation album just so i could catch up on what i'd missed (and have "engel" and "sonne" take me right back to spending all my time in my mom's basement, tapping around on the early-ish internet).

plus, since i don't go to as many concerts anymore, it's a real kick to see and remember onstage musicians again. as any of my girls (and boys) know, once you've loved a musician - any musician, and god knows i've devoted myself to more than my fair share - you'll see them in all the others. i mean, i can spot all the traditional rock star motions: the guitarist lunges, the one foot up on the amp, the two guitarists playing back to back, the jump-splits, the drumstick spins in between cymbal crashes, everything. i can still name every component of a drum kit by sight or sound. i can still pick out the bass line even when it's seemingly buried and hear how it locks in with the rhythm section. as someone who's always either been backstage, side stage, front row, or in the studio, it's that kind of stuff you never really forget.

the best way i can put it is that it feels like coming back to someone you used to have a crush on and being like, "ohhhh right, that's why i had such a thing for you." although it can be hard on me, like i detailed in this blog post, it always, always fills me with such crazy joy, and it's a feeling like nothing else. watching live music of any scale or capacity is the strongest reminder to myself of why i gave so much of myself and so many years of my life to the shows and the bands. because i fucking believed in what they all do, and i still believe. sometimes it just takes a reminder, that's all.

anyway, the dvd/blu-ray release is available for pre-order, and if you're a fan of the over-the-top and the bizarre and the nsfw (like, really nsfw. there are dick cannons), you should think about picking it up. (especially if you mostly just want to watch guitarist richard, who is a stone fox.) get more sinister-sounding industrial music into your life, as i once chose to do when i was bored and disaffected and growing up in the small-town suburbs.


[ music | none ]