Germans put on a flamin' awesome show - but not one for the kiddies
CONTRARY to popular opinion, Germans do have a sense of humour.
Just look at Rammstein's transformation from po-faced industrial metallers to tongue-in-cheek self-parody act.
Their Made in Germany tour, rumoured to be their last, is less a musical performance and more a grandiose piece of homoerotic pyromaniac comedy theatre.
Their philosophy seems to be: "If we don't like it - or if we do - set fire to it". And if that doesn't work, have sex with it.
Let's make this clear: this isn't a finely nuanced Woody Allen stand-up routine about neurotic relationship problems.
Rammstein's brand of hilarity comes very much from the school playground.
Not that this is an event you would take your kids to, unless you desperately wanted to offload them onto social services, of course.
So the show starts with a thunderous cacophony of screeching and pounding while a long industrial-looking gantry descends from the ceiling.
The band emerge from the side of the arena carrying flags and a huge flaming torch before processing solemnly into the centre of the crowd, across the gantry and onto the stage.
It's an impressive entrance, made all the better by the sudden launch into Sonne, probably their best song.
Thus commences an ear-bleeding couple of hours of hardcore thrashing and ominous-sounding German vocals.
Lead singer Till Lindemann is clearly getting on a bit now, but he still manages to lumber around the stage looking like he bites the heads off flamingoes for breakfast, while keyboardist Christian Lorenz seems to be the butt (quite literally in one memorable part of the performance) of many of the "jokes".
He is subjected to various inhumane simulated punishments, including being cooked in a giant pot while being blasted with a flamethrower. We've all done it.
There can't be many bands who could sell out the Manchester Arena with barely an English word in earshot. Perhaps it's because German is a language uniquely suited to heavy metal.
Even the popular Christmas carol Silent Night sounds vaguely Satanic when read in the original German.
So why would you want to impart with the best part of £50 to have your hearing pulverised, your clothes drenched in fake bodily fluids and your fragile, miserable sense of propriety trampled on by a bunch of half-mad perverts?
Because it's awesome, that's why. Get a sense of humour. And a raincoat.