Dutch Contrasts

Stadspark, Groningen, The Netherlands – July 6 & 7, 2023

Rammstein, Groningen 07.07.2023 by Admin

While Rammstein’s first show in Groningen, Netherlands had a rocky start, a terrible entry, and an all right show, the second night became one of the best concerts the band has done this tour.

By KidArctica, Sez, Admin, and Alex Makarov @Makarovmedia (Guest Photographer)

Till Lindemann, Groningen 07.07.2023 by Admin

Groningen is perhaps not a city most people know about. Dubbed ‘The capital of the north’, the city is located north-east in the Netherlands, and it is the sixth biggest city in the country with close to 250.000 inhabitants. While it is a university city, travelling there from abroad often requires flying into Amsterdam and then getting to Groningen from there. Unfortunately, for the Rammstein shows, this proved to be quite a challenge.

The day before the concert, the storm Poly struck northern Netherlands. More than 400 flights into Schiphol, Amsterdam’s airport, were cancelled. All trains were halted. The storm was so powerful that a code red was issued to residents in the affected areas.

All the cancellations left fans from all over Europe stranded in various places. Some never made it. Others waited for hours between travel legs in order to get to Groningen. From the blog crew, only KidArctica was to attend the first day, and a total travel time prolonged with more than twelve hours along with minimal sleep was not the best preparation before the concert – that is, if there would even be any concerts.

In addition to Poly, which forced Rammstein’s crew to pause stage construction, there was another storm brewing. Stichting Natuurbeschermingswacht, an organisation that aims to protect nature, went to court as The Municipal Executive of Groningen had allowed Rammstein to play at maximum 103 decibel, rather than the normal 100 decibel. Geert Starre claimed that “That 103 is much higher in practice. That’s more like 113 decibels. That’s guaranteed to cause hearing damage, even with earplugs in. In addition, the birds are blown out of the trees.”


The lawsuit went to court the same day as Poly hit. Verdict would not be in until 3,5 hours before the start of the first concert. So while fans started gathering outside the entrance to the former horse racing track in Stadspark, a 140 hectares big park, people were working actively to prevent them, along with birds and bats, from these allegedly terrible noise levels.

Richard Z. Kruspe and Paul Landers, Groningen 06.07.2023 by KidArctica

Not that many queuers showed up early, perhaps due to the aforementioned issues. Though as the hours passed, more and more people showed up. A large fence was put up in front of the only entrance for regular visitors (apart from one for disabled visitors). People had numbered themselves up to around 60, and initial talks to security had been promising – they were open to use the numbering system, but had to run it by the local promoter Greenhouse Talent.

It should not come as a surprise that the nature protection organisation lost the lawsuit. Taking earlier Dutch concerts into consideration, it should not come as a surprise that Greenhouse Talent said no to using numbering system either. Their plan was to remove all the fencing at once, and that people should wait for this to happen before walking to the many lanes that were set up some 20 metres behind it.

Due to the high amount of people waiting in line, many were getting nervous about entry. At 3.30 pm, which was the listed entry time, the fences were still up, yet people had already been standing packed together for hours. Security sent guards outside the fence to try and control the crowd. The bolts holding the fencing together were removed in preparation of entry. Then, about 20 minutes on overtime, the first fence parts were taken away.

Of course, one side was let in while the other side still had fence parts in front of them. Of course, this made everyone start pushing. There were five Feuerzone lanes on the far left and the far right of the entrance area, and the pressure was enormous. Some scanners did not work, or the people using them didn’t know what they were doing. This created more tension. People were pushed into the metal barriers in between lanes. Some were screaming, some were crying. Hopefully, everyone made it out of there unscathed.

Christoph Schneider, Groningen 06.07.2023 by KidArctica

One thing that really irks me is that IDs were never checked, even though it had been stated that everyone had to go in together with the person whose name was on the tickets. This type of “soft personalisation” is terrible. Full personalisation upon purchase, where the name of the attendee has to be registered, is perfectly fine. Though if tickets are not personalised, they should be just that – not personalised. Forcing people go enter with the person who bought the tickets is simply a bad idea. It basically means that you cannot really have someone else buy a ticket for you unless you plan on paying extra for repersonalisation. Sometimes people don’t want to go to the venue at the same time. Sometimes you have different types of tickets. And even if you plan on actually going together, what if the person who bought the tickets gets sick on the day of the concert?

Anyway, on the other side of ticket check, security check, and Feuerzone wristband handout, people had started on the long run to the stage. Nothing in the venue map had indicated where exactly to go after entry in order to get into the standing area. There were no signs anywhere indicating where to go. It turned out that to get in, you had to go behind the tribunes all the way past the large back tribune. From there, you were let into the general admission area, and then you had to run to one of the sides of the stage to get into the Feuerzone. This made for a really long and confusing run, where queueing meant absolutely nothing. What was important, was to survive the initial entry, and then be able to do the run – or have friends who could.

Richard Z. Kruspe and Till Lindemann, Groningen 06.07.2023 by KidArctica

Once inside the venue, it was time for the wait before concert start. Luckily, it was overcast, and the temperature was okay, so the four hour wait before Abélard was manageable. Here comes another tiny rant though: Having a token system for buying food and drink at a venue absolutely sucks. It can work, but in Groningen it didn’t. If you came with cash, there was allegedly no option to enter the amount of money you wanted to get converted to tokens. To get a drink, you had to not only buy tokens, but also tokens for getting a plastic cup as a measure against plastic waste. However, you had to get a certain amount of tokens, and they could not be returned. Furthermore, there were long lines to get them, and at concert end, when people were hungry and thirsty, almost all stalls closed, including where you could get tokens for glasses, and there were people having to beg for water because they couldn’t get hold of a plastic cup token…

Digression over. The piano duo went on stage at 7:30 pm, performed their set, and then finally, despite both nature and nature lovers’ attempts to stop them, Rammstein took the stage in Groningen.

While we did not observe any birds getting blown out of trees, the sound was actually quite loud. Up front, the bass was really boomy (not that everyone minded that), and the sound quality seemed slightly muddy and less crisp than normal from Rammstein. The band, perhaps with the exception of Richard Kruspe, seemed a bit less lively than in other concerts. Paul Landers even kept his sunglasses on until the boat ride.

Paul Landers and Christoph Schneider, Groningen 06.07.2023 by KidArctica

A few moments still happened before boats. During Mein Herz brennt, Till Lindemann went over to Richard for a little while, before Richard moved over to Paul’s side to share his mic as usual. While waiting for the pram to get on stage, Christoph Schneider made faces as he paced back and forth a bit. The drummer made a heart with his hands (which has become a signature move from him, it seems), and he also kissed towards the Puppe cam. Oliver Riedel did his little dance with the bass during the outro, but hid behind the pole next to Schneider while doing so.

Flake’s hood kept falling off at the start of the Deutschland RMX. When the dance was over and the guys were dancing their ways off stage, Oliver went all the way to the left of the stage, pointed, smiled broadly, and did a little dance. Paul Landers also did a few extra moves before going off stage.

During the Mein Teil intro, Paul and Richard shared a brief kiss. Again, Paul played the ‘clown song’, the theme from “Entry of the Gladiators” by Julius Fucik. He later went on to bang on Schneider’s cymbal, whereas the drummer playfully pretended to cut his throat with his drumstick – we can only speculate if those two events were related. Meanwhile, Oliver and Richard had fun playing together before Richard joined Paul and Schneider to do his very enthusiastic dance, much to Paul’s amusement.

Groningen 06.07.2023 by @makarovmedia

When the band left to play on the B-stage, fans started blowing up red, heart-shaped balloons. The plan, initiated by fan groups online, resulted in Rammstein sailing through a sea of hearts (plus a giant, inflatable penis with PUSSY written on it) on their way back to the main stage. Paul picked up one of them and handed it to Till along with a kiss. Richard did one better, he had both a pack of stroopwafels (a Dutch specialty where two thin waffle cookies are held together by caramel filling) and a heart-shaped balloon. Till opened up his jacket to make room for the cookies, and then got the balloon and a kiss also from his other guitarist. The vocalist carried the two balloons with him to the stage, where he thanked the fans by holding them up high.

It seems like the two guitarists have decided to scatter their kisses around the set nowadays. During Ausländer outro, Paul left stage again, whereas Richard played the guitar alone, accompanied by the rest of the band. Towards the end of the outro, he walked slowly towards Schneider, serenading him instead of Paul. During Du riechst so gut it was Till’s turn to bang on Schneider’s cymbal after doing the freeze with Flake. Around this point, it had finally gotten somewhat dark in Groningen. During Ich will, people were shouting funny responses at the start, after each time the two guitarists shouted “Ich will!”

The energy level and mood on stage seemed to pick up a bit during this second part of the show, though all in all, while it was a good concert, it seemed to lack that little extra that would push it to the exceptional that Rammstein is so good at.

Flake Lorenz, Groningen 07.07.2023 by Admin


After the messy and dangerous entry of the first day, very few people seemed to line up early for the second day. There were probably several reasons for this; 1) it was going to be really warm, 2) many people probably went the first day as well and wanted to sleep, and 3) the first day had shown that lining up didn’t matter – if you lined up early and couldn’t run, you were screwed, and if you could run, it didn’t matter if you lined up early anyway.

Because of this, and also because some changes had been made to organisation, the second day’s entry was a lot better than the first. The entire fence was not removed, instead, only parts of it was, which created a lot less pressure as fewer people were let in at the same time. Of course, the run was still long, actually even longer than the first day. The entrance to the field had been moved all the way over to the opposite side of the venue, meaning people had to run around all the tribunes before being let in, and then run to the Feuerzone area. It was basically Prague 2022 all over again.

For this one concert, the blog crew was complete, as Sez and Admin decided to go to Groningen on short notice. Very short notice, in fact. In the words of Admin:

Paul in his new outfit, Groningen 07.07.2023 by Admin

Originally I sold my tickets to both shows, because I thought I couldn’t attend them. Nobody was able to take care of my cats. But as the date came nearer, I was like “Okay… when I just go to the second show and drive back home afterwards, I’d be away from home less than 24 hours. That should work.” So I bought a new ticket, just for the second show. I also saw that it was possible to rent a parking lot in a nearby garage. Just 20min by foot. Amazing. On Thursday I convinced Sez to spontaneously buy a ticket for the show, as FZ was on sale on Fansale. She did and made the 5 hour drive to my place the same day, so we went to Groningen together on Friday. We arrived at the garage around 2pm. Travel went smooth.

As mentioned in a previous fun fact about Sez, she trained cardio for Rammstein-entry-runs, which helped in securing our desired spots in front row. Despite the perfect spots, the four hour long wait for the concert start seemed really long due to the heat. Emergency blankets became a lifesaver. Security brought out buckets of water and handed out cup after cup in the searing heat. Still, several people had to be taken out before the show started – although some of them succumbed not just to he heat, but to their own excessive weed-smoking. Admin can elaborate:

At one point someone seemed to have suffered from the heat, vomiting all over the barrier at front row. He was being taken out by security and handed over to medics, before security cleaned everything. Next up was a guy right behind me, who’s mind was in a completely different universe. People claimed to have seen him taking pills when he sat on the ground, and complained to security. They first asked him if he did drugs, which he declined. A few minutes later he was being taken out by security as well. Much to the relief of people around him.

Richard sweating or crying? Groningen 07.07.2023 by Admin

Once the show started though, the wait was forgotten. Rammstein came on stage with a mood and an energy level that made the first and the second show feel like night and day. The first big surprise of the day was that Paul had a new costume. Instead of his regular grey one, he showed up in a light grey hoodie, long light grey shorts, black and grey wristwraps, and white boots with black soles and laces. The guitarist was in a fantastic mood, alternating between smiling, interacting with the audience, posing, being goofy, and stomping around with a proper stank face.

Richard has been a lot more active this year, and he seems happier than before. Although Admin notes that “during the first few minutes of the concert, RZK was seen having make up running down his left eye only. If he was just sweating or even crying… we’ll never know.” After sharing the mic with Paul during Mein Herz brennt, Richard even stopped by Oliver to rock out a bit with him. During the Puppe outro, he again strolled over to Paul’s side, where Paul was busy staring at something and didn’t notice before Richard suddenly stood behind him. Startled, Paul burst into a big smile, and the two guitarists shared another kiss! Before that, Paul had even mocked Richard’s by now lovingly fan-dubbed “mosquito dance” by imitating the characteristic arm movements.

While we had already gotten a big surprise with Paul’s costume, the biggest surprise of the day happened during the Deutschland RMX. While the other band members prepared to do the stick man dance, Till suddenly appeared by the barrier, carrying a bundle of drum sticks. He first hugged a little girl who had been holding up a “Till hug me”-sign for a while before the remix. Then the vocalist signed some autographs, shook hands, handed out the drum sticks, and high-fived some more front rowers before going back on stage. It was absolutely wonderful and touching to see him interact with fans like that after all he has gone through lately.

Till Lindemann visiting front row, Groningen 07.07.2023 by Admin

The intro to Mein Teil got a little messed up, as Admin can tell you:

The transition between Radio and Mein Teil was a little messed up by RZK. He started playing the Mein Teil riff a little too early, causing the rest of the band to be a little confused. Paul and Schneider quickly joined in, and Olli only started playing after the little drumroll in the intro. He seemed very confused as to where they are in the song right now.

Even with a messed up intro, the song is still a highlight of the show, especially with all other band members having fun when Till is busy trying to cook Flake. Paul did his “scared Paul” pose again when Till entered the stage with the big pot. Oliver and Richard seem to have moved their little moment together from the bridge to the extended part. This time, the two of them inspected each other, then Richard kneeled in front of Oliver as the two of them rocked out at Flake’s place. Richard moved on to join Paul and Schneider, and the three of them danced on the ledge behind the drum throne.

Paul Landers stomping around, Groningen 07.07.2023 by KidArctica

The sea of hearts was back for the band’s boat trips after the B-stage. This time, there were several inflatable sharks in the mix. Paul brought both a shark and a heart balloon, and as none of his hands were free when he needed to get out of the boat, Till just grabbed hold of his collar and hauled him onto the bridge. Three of the sharks made it on to the stage, and surrounded Schneider’s drum set afterwards. Richard had gotten another gift, a pair of underwear, which he happily swirled around as he got onto the stage. Though Flake had picked up the funniest item on his way back – a cap with a penis and two balls on the front. The keyboardist happily wore it for the entire Ausländer. Admin recounts:

When Till noticed, he couldn’t stop laughing and first went over to Schneider to point that out to him, who also immediately started smiling. Next Till went over to Olli and also showed him. Everyone was laughing and having a good time.

It seems like if Rammstein won’t bring the penis cannon to the audience, the audience will bring penises to Rammstein! Finally, during the elevator ride with the crowd cheering after a fantastic show, Richard pushed his guitar pick against Oliver’s chest and laughed heartily.

The audience did in general seem a lot louder on the second day, perhaps in response to the band’s fantastic energy level and mood. It could of course be that the stress before the first show, with the storm and the lawsuits about fireworks and volume levels, took its toll on the band that first day. Nonetheless, the second show was so good that it easily sails up among the absolute top shows attended by the blog crew this year.

06.07.2023 & 07.07.2023

  1. Rammlied
  2. Links 2-3-4
  3. Bestrafe mich
  4. Giftig
  5. Sehnsucht
  6. Mein Herz Brennt
  7. Puppe
  8. Angst
  9. Zeit
  10. Deutschland RMX
  11. Deutschland
  12. Radio
  13. Mein Teil
  14. Du hast
  15. Sonne
  16. Engel
    (Piano version with Abélard)
  17. Ausländer
  18. Du riechst so gut
  19. Ohne dich
  20. Rammstein
  21. Ich will
  22. Adieu
Flake Lorenz, Groningen 07.07.2023 by KidArctica

Admin is the founder and owner of RammWiki. Sez and KidArctica are RammWiki editors who have been part of the website for years, working in the background with edits and content. Fun Fact: Admin is visiting seven Emily Ruvidich concerts this year. Sorry, of course we meant Till Lindemann.

1 thought on “Dutch Contrasts”

  1. True about Thursday, and yes Friday was an amazing show and vibe. By reading this I can feel it again, thanks for this 🙂

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