What do Russians love about Ukraine

Rammstein in Russia: Nowhere do the fans leave

When Sergej Khlan saw the Germans for the first time, he was shocked. His face flushed with shame. Till Lindemann was standing there on the stage and took out his dummy penis, from which water began to splash. Actually, his father had given him the CD with the concert recording of his favorite band. "I had only heard Rammstein before and saw it in pictures. I would have loved to sink into the ground," laughs Sergej today.

Rammstein fans have to chase tickets

However, that hadn't hurt his love for Rammstein. Today the 28-year-old is one of hundreds of thousands of fans of the German band, which enjoys cult status in Russia. The two upcoming concerts in Russia were sold out many months in advance. On July 29th, the band from Germany will first appear in the famous Luschniki Stadium, where the final of the soccer World Cup took place last year. On August 2, there will be a show in the football arena in the second largest city in the country, Saint Petersburg. Numerous fans reported back in December that the tickets, which went on sale in batches, were always sold out after a few moments. Some spent days in front of the computer, constantly updating the ticket provider's website.

Difficult start for Rammstein

The German rock stars did not have an easy start in Russia. Her first concert a good 17 years ago in Moscow had to be canceled due to previous riots by right-wing nationalists. Apparently the rulers at the time feared that Russian neo-Nazis might disrupt the planned concert. Later, members of the Petersburg city parliament called for the band to be punished for their provocative show. Today's Duma MP Vitaly Milonov described the show as amoral. The song "Moscow", Rammstein's hymn to the Russian capital as a pit of sin, also bothered political activists who collected signatures for a concert ban. However, Till Lindemann experienced the greatest scandal when Caviar-Phone, a manufacturer of expensive accessories in the Russian-patriotic style, wanted to abuse the singer as an ambassador for his gold-plated iPhones with the Russian double-headed eagle. The manufacturer posted a photo of Lindemann in a T-shirt with Putin's face on his chest. However, the manufacturer later had to admit that they had added Putin's likeness to Lindemann's shirt with an image editing program.

There are eleven hours waiting in line for an autograph

Such conflicts do not play a major role for the Russian Sergei Khlan. His love for Rammstein is rooted in his childhood. "When I heard Rammstein, I was about ten or eleven years old. A little boy that everyone was teasing. For me, Rammstein was the most manly thing in the world, I probably tried to compensate for something with it," says the 28-year-old who now works as a psychologist in the small provincial town of Ostashkow a few hundred kilometers north of Moscow. Only later did he begin to deal with the texts, read biographies and even poems by Lindemann. "Last winter, when Lindemann presented his collection of poems in Saint-Petersburg, I stood in line for a total of eleven hours for an autograph and a blurry photo with the singer on Instagram," explains Khlan. At the beginning of August he will be there again for the performance in Saint Petersburg.

"You smell so good"

But the tickets weren't enough for everyone. Denis Ushakov, who moderates events in Murmansk in northern Russia, came away empty-handed. At the moment the tickets are also being traded for around 100 to 200 euros. A lot of money in a country with an average salary of around 600 euros. However, he himself was already two times at Rammstein appearances in Moscow three years ago. His love for Rammstein also began almost two decades ago, with the VHS cassette "Live aus Berlin" to be precise. "My uncle got hold of the concert recording somewhere, and it has been going since then," recalls the 31-year-old. It was only with internet access that there was the opportunity to deal with the texts. "Some are very simple, others ironic or even romantic". His favorite song is "You smell so good". "I've even sung it a couple of times to girls I was in love with," the Rammstein fan recalls.

However, according to Denis Ushakow, nothing can be compared to a live performance by Rammstein. The band always makes a huge show, has its own style. "For us in Russia, when there's a big rock concert, it's always a festival because that rarely happens." He has seen many European rock shows on YouTube himself, nowhere are the fans as crazy as in Russia.

Till Lindemann: Russian citizenship? With pleasure!

The love of the Russians is, at least with Till Lindemann, apparently based on reciprocity. In an interview with the "Komsomolskaya Pravda", the Rammstein front man stated that he had no objection to accepting Russian citizenship. Not, however, to save taxes, like the French actor Gerard Depardieu, for example, but for purely practical reasons: "So that everyone can invite me to Russia and I don't have to torment myself with the bureaucracy upon entry."