WORCESTER — Some bands play rock ’n’ roll; Rammstein plays phallus ’n’ flames.
The Teutonic titans of industrial hard-rock brought their “Made in Germany” tour to the DCU Center Sunday, proudly defiant even after getting arrested for a simulated sex act after a performance in the city in 1999.
During the band’s final bows, singer Till Lindemann said, “I hope we don’t get arrested this time.”
Materializing at the entrance to Section 105 bearing a torch and flags, the six members of Rammstein launched the show by marching to the stage from the rear of the arena across a bridge suspended over audience members on the general-admission floor.
Rammstein kicked into a greatest-hits set with “Sonne,” and the dreary industrial backdrop lit up in flashes for the duration of the two-hour concert. Flames shot from face masks, rifles, instruments, microphone stands, and seemingly the musicians themselves.
For those who hadn’t brushed up on their German, Lindemann’s masturbatory and otherwise sexually graphic miming abilities helped most points get over language barriers.
A combination of disciplined execution and debauched attitude is Rammstein’s signature. It leaves little room for variation, however, and Wagnerian metal can grow tedious, even with an onslaught of flames.
The leaner guitar boogie “Asche Zu Asche” and surf-rock beat worked into “Mann Gegen Mann” helped the band break its sonic mold.
Monotony was not a problem with the stage show. During “Mein Teil,” Lindemann appeared as a bloodied butcher attempting to “cook” keyboard player Christian “Flake” Lorenz in a cauldron. Lorenz, of course, survived to later ride a rubber raft atop the crowd as audience members passed him along over their heads.
For “Buck Dich,” the song whose performance got Rammstein in trouble last time, the performance was a mess of bondage, gender bending, and three or four different kinds of debasement. It was also the lead-off song to a set of tunes performed on a smaller stage erected opposite the main stage.
To sing “Engel,” Lindemann donned metallic angel wings that — you guessed it — shot flames. The finale was a rollicking tune about sex that — you guessed it — featured a giant penis on wheels.
DJ Joe Letz warmed up the far-from-sold-out crowd with a batch of remixed Rammstein tunes.
Scott McLennan can be
reached at smclennan1010