They're known for extravagant performances, heavy with irony and weird dark senses of humor and, I think, hints of their East German background. I had seen a little bit of the band live in videos, but not much, so I only sort of knew what to expect.
The opening moments nearly stopped my heart - Til Lindemann's deep voice booming out, then the band, bass thumping in my chest, then everybody yelling: "Ramm! Stein!"
The six members of the band were placed on two levels on a sort of open metal structure, and except for the lead singer, they pretty much stayed in those places unless there was some special effect. One little production involved the keyboardist kicking over the singer; the singer carried him over his shoulder, dumped him in a trick bathtub, rode a platform high into the air, and dumped a giant bucket of sparks onto him. The keyboardist then climbed out, newly clad in a silver sequined catsuit. Later, we learned the idea was that he was turned into metal - they had apparently done this in the video for the song.
I think I figured out one reason they don't move around a lot. There were many, many explosions, including exploding baby dolls in Spielhur. Also, much fun with flamethrowers, usually just the lead singer, but once the singer and the two guitarists all shot their flamethrowers at once. And once a fake audience member got set on fire and capered for a while. From our fairly distant seats, we could feel the heat of the flames a bit.
We'd been expecting something pretty funny for the song Pussy, as the NSFW video is...well. We were not disappointed. At the end of the song, the lead singer straddles what we dubbed a "cock cannon" - cannon shaped, with a head, bubblegum pink in color - and rode it across the stage and back, while it spewed copious strips of paper that rippled gently like little swimming sperm, all the way out over the moshpit. A few bits of paper even reached the first rows of seats, but only in the center - we were to the side and didn't get any. But so funny! No pretending this was not a big phallic joke.
Oh, yes, and the keyboardist hopped into a little black rubber lifeboat and rode out on the mosh pit and back, which was kind of cool. Except a couple of jerks tried to climb up on it. For Engel, the singer wore giant metal wings which, yes, shot flames out the ends.
The show wasn't hugely long, but frankly, I was exhausted by the end, not only from dancing and screaming, but from the sheer spectacle and noise of it all. It's been years since I went to an arena show. It's not something I make a habit of. For Rammstein, though - yes. It was a catharsis.