▣Explanada Pelicanos | Puerto Vallarta Beach, Mexico ▣Monday, December 31st 2018
Mexico. Damn. The country was never on my list of places to visit but when multi-platinum German pyro kings Rammstein set up a New Year’s Eve event on the beach, you go. I’m going to outline my trip for you guys as well as the concert, since the two were intertwined and I’ll hopefully save you some headache trip wise.
Rammstein. That “Du Hast” band. Yea, those guys. Six 50 somethings from Germany who’ve been changing the musical landscape for over 20 years at this point. Much more than the one hit wonder people could play them off as. Six albums since 1995 and another due in April, they show no signs of slowing down having already planned a European stadium tour for the upcoming 2019 summer. My love affair with them began in the summer of 1998 when I saw the Du Hast video on MTV (yea it used to play videos.) I was a mere 10 years old and fell in love instantly. The music, the video. It was all over from there. The first album I purchased was their second effort, “Sehnsucht”, and I played the cd out from listening so often. The first album, “Herzeleid”, had already been out and the newest at the time, “Mutter”, was too so I had plenty to obsess over when I started buying my own records. My first new album as a fan was “Reise, Reise” (2004) and that kicked off with the cannibalism inspired video for the song “Mein Teil.” They released another album “Rosenrot” in 2005 and their latest as of now, “Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da”, in 2009. Their still unnamed new record is fully recorded and due in April. Expect buzz around that as it becomes available.
What has made these guys famous, aside from the pounding riffs unable to be duplicated, is the live show they bring. Their stage takes over 8 hours to build when they bring it all with them. This particular stage took days to build as they built it from nothing in an empty parking lot. A buddy of mine from Holland had been in town for a week or two on holiday before the show and documented it for us. We actually weren’t allowed into the photo pit area because of all the fire! Videos of it are on my Instagram if you wanted to check it out! Fire, sparks, bombs, and more are part of the live show. Sure, you may have seen a live band with fire before, but have you ever seen both guitarists and the vocalist wearing a fire breathing mask while singing and playing? No? Get to a Rammstein show. You will.
So, as you know at this point, I just got back from Mexico. We flew Aeromexico out of Logan and that whole trip was wonderful. The first snag when we got there was the rental car. I had booked it online and was like $160 which for 6 days was a great deal. What they fail to mention is the requirement for insurance in Mexico. So, the car is $160 but you have to either take liability or full coverage on top of that through them. Liability was only another few bucks, but they require you to leave a $500 deposit and full coverage makes you leave $75 as a deposit but it costs literally the same as the car. So, $380 later, I got the car.
Our first hotel snag was directly after that. We got in around 11am and the room wasn’t ready yet, which was fine. That’s normal. What was not fine, was how they told us to pass the time. Leave. There’s a huge resort with bars, restaurants and the like, and they told us to leave and come back. Having been up for over 24 hours at this point, I unhappily drove into to town to find some food. Moral of the story travel side, if you find yourself in Puerto Vallarta on vacation, don’t stay at Krystal Vallarta and don’t rent a car.
Other moral of the story, if you have an opportunity to see Rammstein live, do what you have to do to get in there.
Industrial metal band 3Teeth opened both shows and are the luckiest dudes in the world (IMO). Unknown to me before I saw Rammstein at Jones Beach, they are big in the goth rave scene as I was told by friends of mine who DJ these events. The electronic blend they produce sounds AMAZING in a live situation and I’m happy I got to see them twice alongside Rammstein this past week. They have a great stage presence and I feel their true potential is best represented live. They currently have two albums under their belt and a third on the way, make sure you check these guys out.
As mentioned above, a Rammstein show is unlike anything else in the world. 5,000 people from 40 countries filled in the dirt lot and pulsed as one. A completely dark stage covered by a black curtain was the beginning. A small whirring noise played until an explosion sounded on stage, the curtain dropped, and hundreds of red flares shot into the sky. Flake, keyboards, is alone on stage showered in orange light. Schneider, percussion, sits up from his kit and begins his drum line. Paul and Richard, guitars, begin playing their riff and walk in from the sides. Oliver, bass, joins them in the center of the stage to run the main riff as a band once more before silence which has Till, vocals, tap dance in before the song begins. Simply calling it a concert seems an affront to what it truly is; a flame filled industrial opera. You’ll get flares, Co2 blasts, suicide vests that explode, fire breathing masks, a flame thrower to cook Flake in a pot, cannisters on guitars that shoot flames, and more. Till enters in a white suit that two helpers rip off during song 2 revealing his black one. He wears a bloody butcher get up for “Mein Teil” when he “cooks” Flake. You get a hell of a lot more than a normal show with them PLUS the music is amazing.
If you’ve taken anything away from this show review it should be as follows: Listen to more Rammstein, 3Teeth and don’t miss a chance to see either live, don’t stay at Krystal Vallarta, and don’t rent a car in Mexico!
As always, shower, wear deodorant, and be kind to each other.
Peace and blessings.
Review & Photos: Anthony Coy
Check out the band’s websites for more info!