Release Date: 25th September 2015 | Genre: Industrial/Metal | £20 (DVD) £25 (Blu-Ray)
It’s been a while since we’ve heard from the German Industrial Metallers. Their last release was the 2011 best of album “Made in Germany”, with guitarist Richard Z Kruspe and lead singer Till Lindemann busy focusing on their own solo projects in recent years (Emigrate and Lindemann respectively.) This feature focuses on Rammstein’s Madison Square Garden performance, in support of 2009’s “Liebe ist Für Alle Da”, and is long overdue, considering the event took place nearly five years ago! It’s clear why the band decided on this concert in particular for a DVD/Blu-Ray release; as it was their first headlining show on US soil in over a decade, and when tickets were initially released, it completely sold-out within 20 minutes. Clearly, it’s bound to be a highlight of their career, and certainly worthy of documenting.
If you’ve ever seen a Rammstein show, you’ll already know what to expect. If not, I’ll sum it up in five words; the greatest show on earth. I will admit, I am a massive Rammstein fan (they’re my favourite band), so this may seem like bias, but it really isn’t. In fact, their gigs are one of the many reasons I regard them so highly. Their performances, and the production that goes into them, is completely out of this world. Their shows are filled with crazy stunts, enough pyrotechnics to burn down the city they’re playing in and a light show that puts Blackpool Illuminations to shame. They tick every single box, all whilst delivering a powerful, epic musical performance.
The main problem with footage of live events such as this, is it’s impossible to portray the true energy and atmosphere of the event itself. It’s never going to be as good as being there. However, this release feels pretty damn close, and is as close as you’re probably ever going to get, until some genius invents holographic technology. The gig is constantly being viewed from as many angles as possible, so you always get a good idea of pretty much everything that’s going on. Sometimes it can feel erratic, but it helps to add to the chaos that’s ensuing, especially when the pace picks up. It’s nice to see crowd shots added into the mix too, it really adds to the human interaction aspect, and at times, can be rather hilarious (whoever held up the sign during “Pussy” was an absolute genius, look out for that one!) Best of all, the glorious stunts are captured flawlessly. I never thought it’d be such a joy to see exploding laser babies on-screen.
The band could have easily left it at that, by releasing a DVD/Blu-Ray of the live concert, and it would have still been magnificent. However, they’ve gone a step further, and have included a second disc containing two documentaries; “In Amerika” and a behind the scenes look on the making of Liebe ist Für Alle Da. The latter is a nice quirky look at the band’s creative process during the formulation of the album, filmed by guitarist Paul Landers, and is a good watch.
What I didn’t expect was “In Amerika” to be a two hour long documentary, that detailed Rammstein’s entire relationship with America, from its inception, up until their Madison Square Garden performance! This came as a nice surprise indeed, as it’s the most insightful, comprehensive, and entertaining documentary I have ever seen of them. It details their triumphs, trials and tribulations, and hilarious escapades, told in a neatly flowing narrative. This is backed up with plenty of old footage and photographs taken from the vaults of the band, and it’s fascinating to see how they’ve evolved. Other artists and famous icons, including Marilyn Manson, Chad Smith (Red Hot Chilli Peppers), Moby, Steven Tyler (Aerosmith), Scott Ian (Anthrax) and even Kiefer Sutherland (“24”) chip in at points, to detail their Rammstein experiences and opinions, with some pretty humorous tales too. It’s really humbling to see the level of respect these icons have for Rammstein. Overall, this documentary is a testament to how big, and well-received, Rammstein become over in the States. It opens up a new level of appreciation for the Madison Square Garden gig, and just goes to show how much of a triumph it was.
I’ve seen plenty of live DVDs/Blu-Rays, where bands/artists have taken the half-arsed approach. They’ve skipped out chunks of their performances, have had documentaries that last a mere 5-10 minutes, and have even tried to be “arty” by adding unneeded visual effects (I’m looking in your direction, Muse.) However, “In Amerika” is the complete opposite to that. After viewing, it’s clear why it took so long for this to be released; Rammstein wanted the experience to feel as complete as possible, and they definitely achieved that goal. They have truly have gone above and beyond with “In Amerika”, making this package an absolute must-buy. Not only is it a gripping viewing experience, but it’s also set a new benchmark for live DVD/Blu-Ray releases.
Rammstein: Live From Madison Square Garden Track Listing
“Fruhling in Paris”
“Ich Tu Dir Weh”
“Du Reichst So Gut”
“Links 2 3 4″