Fans in themed clothing were everywhere. With long hair or baling, with and without piercing, in heavy boots or colored shoes. Young, like us and completely grey lovers of rock music.
We were joking, "For somebody this concert might be the last one." Some were already drunk, some were just buying alcohol from a Cafe. Finally a tall white door opened. Beyond it was darkness.. Crowd tensed like a tight coil. And then people, from all the way back, darted forward. Lines lost their meanings and order, just arrived merged in a united mass that was menacingly moving towards those who were there first. We heard angry yelling, "Are you nuts! We are standing here 8 hours now! Where are you going!"
Militant voice of a commander hit the crowd, "Green bracelets - Hands up!". Fists with green bracelets on their wrists raised up and hung there as bright lanterns. The mass of people got nervous, a wave moved across it. And we, the blue bracelets, didn't have any idea about what to do. But we decided to stay closer to the entrance. Finally the way was clear and we moved forward. In the absolute abyss. At that point I haven't slept for 32 hours. A big field opened in front of us. People ran forward, we tried to figure out the direction they went. We started running too. On our way there were black stripes of thick fabric that let out bright white light. Everything around started looking like some kind of a movie, or even as an end of this scary movie when catharsis already happened and they are running towards their dream no matter what.
Passing strips of fabric, we saw the stage, lights, barriers that held blue bracelets from moving forward, allowing only green ones that were already crowded near the stage as a mass of silhouettes. Slowly the VIP sections on the sides were filling. They looked at us partly with superiority and pity. We looked back with the same feelings - to buy the overly expensive tickets and sit the whole concert on your ass and not being a part of this extravagant act - that deserves some pity. The Crowd shouts with excitement after catching any shadow passing on the stage. Microphones were being checked. Suddenly the guitar riff sounds off with a nuclear acid sound. Ears got hit with gloomy bass. But still there's no concert. We started thinking that it might get canceled. Suddenly a voice from the darkness broadcasts that because of the Russian laws concert will be censored. The crowd booed angrily. And then it started.
A recording with an old movie effect played on the screen. Till Lindemann with steam punk-like glasses and diaper is walking around the street and sucking on his thumb. Pedestrians are shocked. Till does somersaults on the pavements, does flips, bothers people. Finally at the end he jumps into a river. Crowd is ecstatic. It’s shouting got muffled by the roar of guitars and raging drums. The act began.
The release of the first album “Skills in Pills” was followed only by two music videos and tamed advertising but the second album “F&M” was supported by six music videos and didn’t pass on an opportunity to make a stir in media space. The PR team had a blast. At first the band released rap video “Mathematik” where Till took the role of slutty schoolgirl who was doubling in prostitution.
Then shooting of “Steh Auf” video in Kazakhstan Republic; then a music video completely made by neural networks “Ich weiß es nicht”; then video on the song “Knebel” followed, that needed to be censored so “YouTube” would allow it to be published, a “censored” sign sometimes would occupy the whole screen. The release of the next music was followed by the wave of media reports about collaboration with the Russian singer Svetlana Loboda; in the video for the song “F&M” she played the lead female role. And in the video “Platz Eins” Till simply played the role of a maniac killer and attends an orgy with a bunch of women. Again, sign “censored”. As well as astonishing amounts of mentions everywhere: TV, newspapers, internet.
Music and vocals were followed by videos on the big screen behind the musicians. Till Lindemann came to Moscow not with a rock concert. He brought phenomenal art performance.
On the screen Till and Peter overate pills and then start to throw up. On the screen, during “Fat” song, two obese women were fondly fighting each other - not in a dirt - in melted fat and then (they) were drowning vocalist in the same fat. Naked models were posing on the screen with their pretty parts either blurred or hidden behind a familiar “censored” sign. This exact sign was used by the musicians to play around making it the main part of “Platz Eins” background video. During the “Golden Shower” song on the screen, through the whole length of the video, one actress was peeing on another actress that was tied and was wearing a black mask. On the screen Till Lindemann was teaching German language to a naked model who was lying on his knees and for every mistake Till was spanking his student on her butt. The cherry on top of the background videos became the recipe for cooked fish after “Fish On” song.
“A baked fish. Recipe: make a cut from the head to the tail with a sharp knife. Carefully remove all the insides. Heat the oven until it’s 180C. Mix together onion, leek, coriander, capers and jalapeno, cut garlic, grated ginger, tomatoes, lime zest and juice, black paper and French bread (or boiled rice). Stir them well.”
At this point I haven’t slept for 35 hours. My legs hurt. My eyes are like two pulsing orbs. Crowds of people on each side.
But guitars came alive like three diesel engines. Drums exploded the silence of the crowd voices. And Till’s voice, so deep and embracing, covered us all in it’s velvet roar. My thyroid injected the last bits of adrenaline in my bloodstream, saying, “Have fun and then it will be time for us to die..”
And a hope comes to your soul, a certainty that you are one of those for whom your idol is trying his best.. And Till really tried his best. He played the whole hour and a half concert almost without stopping and only once he went out of breath and the guitarists finished a song for him. Till was shuttering microphones, destroying stands, throwing amps and other electronics around the stage. And how funny it was to watch how assistants with flashlights would promptly try to fix everything.
In the “Lindemann” project the band presents itself as artists. And if some are Hollywood movies with special effects and pyrotechnics, then others are art movies for the brave. And after that you understand who answers for this madness.. The vocalist, of course, whose poetry filled with pain, sex and horror, that move to the music and then to the screen in the form of treataning images of cruelty..
“Lindemann” is grotesque. “Lindemann” is a buffoonery of violence. “Lindermann” is about the aesthetics of disgust and history of ugly about which Umberto Eco wrote big cultural work during his times. In this project Till Lindemann gained such liberty of self expression that he never had before. It’s easier to express your most radical fantasies in the form of a duo rather than sixtet.
As well as it deserves respect how Peter Tägtgren fulfills his role in the band. During the song about gluttony “Allefresser” a table with cakes was rolled on the stage with which musicians started to bombard the crowd. Interaction did not end on sweet. After the song “Fish On” fish started showering on the people, beautifully twirling in the air in the glittering of lights before landing on somebody with a wet slap noise.
Guitars growled. Drums growled. Voice growled. All this was replacing my pulse. The heart could have a rest, the wild rhythm of the instruments was pumping the blood around the body. I was screaming the text of the song in an attempt to scream over all the noises, a vein popped on my forehead, my throat was begging for mercy but I kept screaming and screaming. Because Till also kept screaming and screaming.. And hitting himself in the forehead with a microphone, and throwing microphones around the stage, and jerking in seizures from the music almost as he was ritual dancing the spirits and making faces, showing his tongue and slapping himself on the butt, and even fucked a mic stand before throwing it on the floor.
I was sweating. Sweat was covering my eyes. I was jumping from the crackling of guitars, throwing king’s fist in the air or a native “goat”. Soar in my own sweat and the sweat of those who were around me.
But that wasn’t vomit inducing, instead adding more strength into my muscles, making me want more to stomp the floor with my boots, making me want more to scream under the blinding lights and deafening sound, making me want more heavier and harder. And musicians were playing hard along with us, they were shaking their heads mindlessly, Peter destroying his guitar, Till hitting amps with his feet and this all under the juicy rhythm.
I stomped over all the feet that were behind me. At some point I realized that I don’t feel feet under my jumps anymore. I turned around and noticed an empty area around me - people decided to protect themselves. Once I hit a girl in the forehead with my elbow but she didn't notice it because she was shaking her head along with myself and she didn’t care about anything. Oh those blue haired girls with rock bracelets..
Another even weirder couple was a young man in a suit jacket and slacks and a young woman in evening dress.. And they were standing too. Just looking up at the stage. Where Till was fucking a mic stand, where Peter smashed his guitar into pieces. They were looking at the screen unbothered where Till and Peter were vomiting; where Till was dressing as schoolgirls and well-natured Fraulein and fucking models in this role. They were watching unbothered as one girl was peeing on another with a wild music playing. Yeah, really romantic evening it was..
At the end Till said “Spasibo bolshoe..” in Russian. And for a very long time the crowd was holding tight ovations in front of the musicians standing straight. In the lobby people crowded a cooler to try and satisfy their thirst. In front of the stadium there was a line of buses trying to make some money on a transfer. Around midnight we were at the train station that became almost dear to us. Another 7 hours of waiting ahead. We’re talking about philosophy in a category of subjectivity and objectivity. It seems that concert never happened. Smoking. Train to Omsk. And then there’s deep sleep without compromising.
On March 15, cakes and fresh fish were thrown into the crowd from the stadium stage in Moscow. There was also a lot of nudity. A lot of nudity. In case you haven't figured it out yet, there was a lot of nudity. In support of the new album "F&M", the musical project "Lindemann" came to Moscow with a concert.
In the train, on the upper shelf, I was trying to read. A hand-made edition of Yuz Aleshkovsky in 500 units, costs a lot. White super cover with a mass of red and black letters that somehow gathered into the word “Маскировка”(tr. Camouflage). Under it there was black pleather binding with embossing of Brezhnev and massive letter “M” beside it. Post modern novel about boondock soviet town of Staroporokhov that imitated life of an ordinary boondock soviet town while a hydrogen bomb was constructed in it’s catacombs.
I managed to read only a half of the book when the train lights went out. Only a small yellow bulb on the shelf stayed on that only was adding to the darkness around. In front of me a green sign was blinking with it’s diodes: “Cart №14. Toilet is unoccupied.” Then those words were changing to a dial and inside temperature. And then again back to “Cart №14. Toilet is unoccupied.” But the toilet was “unoccupied” even when it was occupied.
There are still six hours until Moscow. No lights. Phone battery is gonna die soon enough. In order for time to go faster I need to sleep. Somewhere in the cart a child is crying. His toy makes noises. But the child won't calm down. And I can’t fall asleep. I look at the green dial, it was only 30 minutes. I’m trying to fall asleep again. But nothing happens.
Exactly 5 hours has passed. My friend fetches me from my trans by putting his hand on my shoulder and saying, “What, you didn’t sleep at all?” I answered no. During all these hours I managed to study almost all of the passengers of the fourteenth cart. At some point I started to imagine that I am the hero of some postmodern book with Brezhnev on the binding. And in front of my eyes there’s “Toilet is unoccupied” inscription and the temperature is like this. I really wanted to sleep. But falling asleep was scary as well. I could easily miss my stop and become another Vanechka Erofeev that got lost in the Russian mystic.
Moscow train station. Big. It has a piano. Lots of plants in pots. Sparrows and tits flying around. As well as free toilets. Just a paradise. We arrived in the city at 4:30 local time. There were four of us. Three rabid philologists and one social worker who wanted to become a historian. During the day we visited the local zoo. There we left the last of our strength. At that point I haven’t slept for 30 hours. After Omsk, Moscow seems weird. Almost like the system didn’t load it fully and now locations are filled with many empty spaces with weird pigeons and suspicious tits. We took a taxi to the stadium. Taxi driver said, “Are you going to the concert? I wanted to come too with my friends but I broke my leg. It made me really upset..”