Rammstein - The O2, London
In this era of rampant price gouging (£45 +fees), German industrial metal maestros Rammstein soften the blow a little by putting one of the most impressive, spectacular and value for money performances you are ever likely to see. This current tour is in support of their ‘Best Of' album Made In Germany 1995 -2011 and the accompanying show is quite simply breathtaking; from the moment they make their impressive impressive, doom-laden entrance through and over the crowd, right to the foam-filled finale this is two hours of sheer brilliance - both musically and theatrically.
The gloriously epic 'Sonne' sets the scene perfectly with explosions, pyrotechnics and good old fashioned jets of fire (hot enough to singe the eyebrows of anyone brave enough to be near the stage). As befits a 'Best of' Tour we are treated to the best elements of past tours: face-mounted flame throwers during 'Feuer Frei!'; keyboardist Flake being boiled alive in 'Mein Teil'; fiery angel wings on the beautiful 'Engel' and, once the the band had decamped to a tiny platform in the middle of the arena, the notorious simulated buggery and crowd-covering ejaculation that accompanies the brilliant 'Bück dich'. You don't get that at a Snow Patrol gig.
Following the brief set on the small platform in the centre of the arena, the band depart the stage to huge and fully deserved applause but return, of course, for a set of brilliant encores that reaches a climax with the tongue-in-cheek 'Pussy' which sees frontman Til spraying the crowd with foam from the tip of the giant cock he is riding. A hilarious ending to a brilliant night. As we depart I can't help but ponder whether Rammstein are the best live band in the world? The simple answer is a resounding, Hell Yes!
NOTE: All Photographs are from the gig at Manchester Evening News Arena on 1st March 2012 and are © Mike Gray - no usage without permission.