Lindemann is made up of Till Lindemann from Rammstein and Peter Tagtgren, the Swedish multi-instrumentalist from the bands Pain and Hypocrisy. They have two albums to the credit – 2015’s “Skills in Pills” and 2019’s “F & M”. Sadly, this collaboration is no more, with Peter departing in 2020.
This feature is made up of concert footage from Moscow on March 15 2020. It will serve as a time capsule for their work. The banavirus was just starting to rear its ugly melon and some folks in the crowd were wearing masks.
Enough of that.
I have often read that the other members of Rammstein temper Till’s ideas a little. No, wait… Rammstein’s somewhat challenging concepts and images are TEMPERED? The work of Lindemann is proof, as evidenced in the clips for tracks that have been released.
Given all of that, I prepared myself for a shocking onslaught… or, so I thought…
The concert kicked of with “Skills in Pills”. The band were all dressed in white and all of their instruments and gear were white. This clinical visage was jarring in itself, until the huge screen behind them added to the mischief. Often. Did I just see THAT?
Here’s what I CAN share that was in the screen – Till being monstered sexually by two enormous women, Till spanking a naked woman in his lap as she mis-reads his German poetry, a possessed pig running around with “PRAISE” written on one side and “ABORT” on the other, silhouettes of naked ladyboys… Like I said – UNTEMPERED. There was MUCH more. I squirmed MANY times.
The sound was exceptional. The live version of “Home Sweet Home” was achingly beautiful and that of “Blut “ was simply stunning. One or two of the interpretations had me waiting for the next song, but most of them retained their muscular attitude. If you blended Pain and Rammstein, you would get Lindemann. They absolutely hammer one moment, are melodic the next and rollicking the next. The songs in English come form the first album, those in German from the second. There’s no real difference in attitude – all are delivered with the same intensity,
The visual editing was cleverly done, without the constant flicking from one view to the other like some seem to do. Close ups were used at the opportune moment and GoPro cameras were attached to instruments to give that view. Shits of the crowd in its entirety and that of small groups or individually were sprinkled in well.
In terms of stagecraft, there aren’t pyrotechnics, explosions or Till catching on fire. However, cakes are thrown into the audience, fish launched into the crowd during the song “Fish On” and Till and Peter spending time in a large plastic bubble. A gimp was present on stage for Till to get his microphone off his helmet at the start of each song and one crouched at one point whilst Peter played an acoustic guitar from his back.
The band would often stand at the front of the stage, bent over, head banging. This was their signature move and echoed that of Till’s “Tillhammer”, where he crouches and hammers his fists on his knees.
Peter had a countenance of madness for most of the performance, which was heightened by his disturbingly flowing ponytails. His interplay with Till was natural and had undeniable chemistry.
But Till was at his brilliant best. Commanding in even the simplest moment, his stage presence was undeniable. He had the audience eating from the palm of his hand and his intensity was obvious. His voice was robust and strong and it seemed like he was into the performance. I have seen footage of Till on an off night and it’s not great… but this one was fabulous.
Moscow seemed a great choice for this concert. To go to a concert so gloriously uncensored and decadent would be a treat indeed. The crowd gleefully joined in the madness.
As a spectacle and as a point in time of their work, this is divine mischief. But, absolutely, positively not for the squeamish, easily offended or with kids anywhere in the vicinity. Those videos on the screen behind them…