So in January 2011 I went to my first and last Big Day Out style concert… and the only thing that enticed me to go was Rammstein was on the bill.  The 20-25 mins they were on stage was easily the BEST music gig I have ever been to (second runner up would have to be Pavarotti’s Farewell Tour – ooh goosebumps just thinking about that one), and sadly felt like a teaser trailer with such a short set.

Anyway, I have this one photo taken when we saw Rammstein in 2011, and I’ve always loved it; blurry mess of non-image forming blown out highlights, that it is… myself, BigSal, Yale and DA were at the show and man, did we pity poor Tool who came on after them and seemed so completely flat and boring in comparison.  Ever since, I have always wanted to go see them do a big stadium show in Europe – preferably Berlin, (but the dates just were not going to play nice – and I’m so not gonna be fussy on this one).  This has literally been on my ‘Things to Do Before I Die List’, and last night I finally got to see them in Lyon, France.

It was a fucking amazing, visual and visceral spectacular… and so worth the wait.  I have uploaded a pile of photos here – mostly because this page has slightly less crap image compression than when you share images on FB.  Most of the pics below are mine from last night, and ah and full at the end are some from a Rammstein Forum where they encourage people to steal/share and spread the fiery goodness.   🙂

One thing that is particularly evident – mobile phone image capture quality has improved considerably int he last 11 years!  😀
Stephola and I having a few ‘no shit, here we are!’ moments when we arrived and found out that (due to language barriers) I had booked us seats in a corporate box and the view was excellent of the entire stadium! Spent half the night wishing I was in the mosh pit; the other half of the night thanking fuck I wasn’t!  😉 When these huge flames leapt into the air, seemingly punctuating the music, I swear it felt like our eyebrows had been singed off!  The heat was intense.There was a small stage half way through the GA area that the support act had used earlier in the evening – a duo of pianists playing effectively, Rammstein Unplugged.  It really got the crown going.  The band also turned up on this stage to sing, ‘Engel’ which was beautiful, the crowd sang along (German surtitles provided) and lots of mobile phone torches made for a beautiful backdrop.After they finished that song, they crowd surfed back to the stage on rubber dinghies. Caught this pic of Till Lindemann’s flaming backpack, you can see the accelerant has sprayed out, right before the streams are ignited.  Way to go iPhone 13 Pro… not bad under difficult lighting.It’s a crazy thing to do – fly 15,000 kms to go see a band, but was so totally worth it.  After seeing this stadium gig, I imagine we won’t ever see anything like this in Australia.  We don’t have the populace to warrant the equipment, expertise and expense of bringing this show or anything like it, Down Under.

So glad we went. Even the walking and try to get an Uber for an hour couldn’t dampen our elation…. Though I was having second thoughts when we didn’t get back to the hotel until 0130 and I had to be up for my flights at 0445.

Life in the Fast Train

I’m awake bright and early this morning to pack my suitcase and get my shit sorted because we are heading to Lyon!  We’ve got to take a train from Leighton Buzzard to London, then a cab from Euston Station to St Pancras, then the Eurostar from there to Lille in France then change to the TGV to Lyon… so we are setting off from ‘the Buzz’ (I’m almost local now so I get to call it that 😉 ) at 0900 and fingers crossed – we should arrive in Lyon at 1900.

Right… let’s skin this cat!

I’m back.  Strangely we will have a bit of time today sitting around on trains and naturally glued to our phones. Got to the train station, and this is totally not connected to anything at all, but there is a cool sprung section of pavement at the Buzz that generates electricity when you walk on it… it’s beta test of some sort to see whether or not larger areas of spung walkways could generate power.  Very cool, I wonder if it’ll become a thing.

However, I digress.  The first segment of our transit went ok… train from the Buzz to London was fine. Met a nice cabbie this time who didn’t make a song and dance or try to rip us off over a short fare from Euston to St Pancras and so for his trouble I gave him £12 for the £8 fare… Take note, Sydney cabbies – it pays not to be a prick!

Once at St Pancras we found we had to wait around until the passengers from previous Eurostar trains had been cleared away before we could be checked though. There was scant little seating but we managed to find somewhere to wait about half hour. The rope lines they have set up are worse than bloody Disneyland and everyone not happy about being directed around like cattle. Anyway, eventually we went in, got scanned out of the UK, went though security and then in through French customs. Was reasonably painless but then we were herded into a large departure lounge with about half as much seating as was required. People were sitting around all over the floor or perched on luggage or coffee tables. But silly really. We managed to snavel a pair of seats and then time completely stopped!  It seemed to take forever for our 12:40 boarding time to roll around. No idea why… it’s a mystery.

Eventually our train was boarding and we settled ourselves onto the Eurostar premier economy seats that Stephola had chosen. Very comfy all round… chairs were good, tables were a useful size and the meal that came with our ticket was quite nice with a wee bottle of rosé to go with it.

The train is incredibly fast and amazingly quiet. Everyone was also abiding by the unwritten rules of being quiet in snooty class travel, which I have to say – I’m really getting used to. I don’t know why economy seats on planes and trains are always so noisy – people playing games and phones not on silent, people just talking too loud… it’s maddening but there’s always a sort of hushed serene atmosphere that comes with more pricey seats. Dammit.

Going through the Chunnel was cool and I honestly had no idea who quick it would be. One minute it’s gone black – the actual tunnel is about 50km long and you’re through it in about 30mins. Before you know it, you’re hurtling through the French countryside which looked beautiful as we passed fields and quaint little villages.

We arrived in Lille to change trains to the TGV much sooner than I expected (possibly because my phone hadn’t automatically changed time zones for me) and then it was a short amount of confusion regarding bathrooms (that were miles away) and platforms (which was the one we had just come up from!) before we were settled on the next train to Lyon.

Another couple of hours in a comfy carriage and next thing we knew we were pulling into Lyon. The Lyon Gare de Part Dieu is being renovated atm so it was a bit of a clusterfuck looking for a bathroom – and ffs France, really?  €1 to use the loo?  Don’t you know that’s really expensive for Antipodeans?! We’ve just paid a small fortune to take a train is it too much to ask that you maintain comfort stops for passengers?  Harumph.

Found our way out to the taxi ranks and met another lovely cabbie (man, I hope that Sydney arsehole got sacked!) who drove us to our hotel… where, oddly enough, every other guest is walking around in black with metal bands on their shirts. Yep. We’re in the right place.

Threw our stuff into our room and went down for a late dinner in the hotel’s restaurant. Discovered my French is way too rusty when we ended up with mineral water we didn’t want and two serves of fries we also didn’t want. Never mind we had a nice meal and took a spare bottle of wine to take up to the room.

Slept like a dead thing. Tomorrow – chill out day and then Rammstein!
Very excited. 🙂