Rammstein Air Canada Centre, Toronto ON May 8

Rammstein Air Canada Centre, Toronto ON May 8
Up until last year, Rammstein hadn't played on North American soil in a decade, leading Toronto fans to anticipate a memorable event from the elusive Germans. Okay, so the majority of them probably didn't understand what the hell singer Till Lindemann was singing, but who cared? With an incredibly impressive stage show and their special mélange of metal, industrial and some strangely danceable grooves, the near-capacity show at the ACC was a spectacle.

With stunts like Lindemann and guitarists Richard Z. Kruspe and Paul Landers creating a fiery triangle by simultaneously belching raging flames and an expansive stage layout with some impressive pyrotechnics, the band had fans leaning against the barrier in front of the stage with tears of happiness. And despite the language barrier (the only vaguely English word was the title and lyrics of their controversial hit "Pussy"), the band delivered, even if it was a very choreographed performance.

Similar to their music and imagery, there was definitely a feeling of sadomasochistic subversiveness that emanated from the stage, most notably from Lindemann. His hulking, muscle-bound physique was slathered in what looked like motor oil and dirt, while his jerky robotic movements, strangely emotionless glare and militaristic, authoritative baritone were definitely both intimidating and sexually provocative. Keyboardist Christian Lorenz played the gimp, a passive man-doll to Lindemann's imposing stature, evident via a bizarre role-playing skit during a brief interlude. A strange collection of dolls also limply hung above drummer Christoph Schneider's kit, and a few fell to their deaths during a blast of pyrotechnics.

When all was said and done, Rammstein's show put the live theatrics of metal colleagues Iron Maiden and, hell, even Mötley Crüe, to shame.