Sig Heil... or Not

There are some bands that fill an arena and leave you wondering why anybody turned up. Then there are others that make you wonder how everyone turned up. Rammstein are one of these bands - totally worthy to be here but, in the same week as the rather piss-poor Brits, it makes you wonder how a group of German industrialists have such a far reach. In a time when boy bands seem to rule the earth to many it would seem bizarre to imagine that the "alternative" scene is quite so alive. Sometimes it takes a band like Rammstein to actually send the shivers down your back that you haven't felt in years.

As roadies clad in uniforms prowl around and pound the stage with foot long torches, Rammstein appear launching in to a stage show with logistics that are purely mind numbing. That, however, is all secondary. Rammstein are one united and overpowering force that seem intent on destroying the whole of the MEN. With every chest-beating German word that is uttered, the venue shakes and fists fly in to the air from the crowd.

From the onset it is apparent that Rammstein are determined to put on a once in a lifetime show for those attending and if head-mounted flame throwers don't do it for you then Till Lindemann (vocals) setting fire to Christian "Flake" Lorenz in a giant cauldron during "Mein Teil" or firing projectiles through the audience may be more to your liking.

It is a strange sight to see 12,000 British people thrust their hands in to the air shouting, to most, meaningless German words, when just a couple of weeks ago the 60th Anniversary of Auschwitz was remembered. Rammstein are the proof that whilst cynical idiots would describe this as an Arian-free Nazi rally - the truth is that music has been a uniting force for years and thank fuck it can still be done today.

Having covered the crowd in red, white and blue confetti for "Amerika", it's encore time as bassist Oliver Riedel is launched in to the crowd riding a rubber dinghy, it may be one of their best known "party tricks", but it will never get tiresome. Who says crowd surfers will be ejected?

It's not everyday that a bunch of Germans leave Manchester to positive cheers - but Rammstein could leave in no other way after a performance that could easily be described as faultless. Forget the pyrotechnics, forget the motorised keyboards and forget the plethora of hits - there is only one thing that really needs to be known. Rammstein command 12,000 Mancunians from start to finish. That's what music is about.

As someone on my left says "Fuck yeah!".