12 years ago I was a young, naive teenager fresh out of high school with grand ambitions swirling in my head. I was going to do this and I was going to do that and nothing would stop me.
(It seems quite sad to think I would fall so far in a couple years and yet I would manage to grab onto a quivering ledge and start on another path. That's me, always clawing, in my stubborn way, back...)
At this time in my life, musically at least, I was a wanderer. I didn't have any favorite bands or musicians. My radio was stuck on a station that I didn't much care for. This all changed when I happened to see some music videos on MTV, (yes, when it actually used to play music videos as opposed to the drivel it broadcasts today), that quite literally opened my eyes.
The two videos that stuck out are The Unforgiven II by Metallica and Du Hast by Rammstein. I scouted around for radio stations that played these songs and I've been a fan since then, adding on more bands as time wore on.
Later on, I met Mike and we often spoke and still do about going to Germany to see Rammstein because it had been so long since they had played in North America. Plus, with my love of the German spoken voice AND Christoph 'Doom' Schneider (drummer for Rammstein), it seemed the only way we'd be able to see Rammstein was to travel to Germany...
We discovered Rammstein was playing at an outdoor festival in Montreal, in July, during the summer of eternal heat waves. Given this along with Mike being in a wheelchair we decided against purchasing tickets.
Late September 2010
We find out Rammstein is going to play just ONE show in New York on December 11th. This was billed as their only North American show. Knowing we would be up against scores of people all trying for a finite amount of tickets, we tried any way. Alas, this was not to be. As Mike was on the phone with the rep at Madison Square Gardens, the handicapped seats were sold. We were saddened, yes, but in the pit of our stomachs we knew there was little chance we would be able to score tickets.
We learn they are planning a 2ND North American show in Montreal on December 9th. I thought this was a ruse and it took a few days for me to fully accept we'd have a second chance, even after I confirmed the show at the venue's website. At this time, the tickets were not going to be on sale for a couple weeks, so we had our game plan ready. Ticket day was a Saturday at 12pm. Mike was going to try again for 3 tickets - one for me, one for him and one for our friend, Zombieman.
Saturday came and I had forgotten the day was ticket sale day until Mike reminded me. I was off to the mall looking for purses. There I stood in the store, looking at purses when the phone rings. I had no concept of the time, although it must have been around 12.15 pm. Its Mike. The first thing I hear is his laughter. (Note, at this time, Rammstein is far from my mind). I can't remember what he says next, but the realization sinks in and my stomach turns over and a large smile creeps over my face. I can't remember purchasing the purses, nor the drive home, I was that shocked surprised ecstatic that it was true.
The tickets arrived some time in November and they were stuck up on the fridge. It was then that I started having mini paranoia attacks that we would forget the tickets on the fridge on concert day.
December 9th, 2010
We decided to take the train to Montreal on the Thursday, see the concert and return on the Friday. Wednesday night, it took a while for me to fall asleep as I fully prepared myself that this was a huge fabricated dream and that I'd wake up on Thursday expecting to go on the train but instead someone would tell me it was all a lie. Fully expecting to go to the side of the fridge and see no tickets there.
Instead, it was real. I grabbed the tickets, placed into my purse and off we went to the train station. I even made Mike and Zombieman 'sign off' that the tickets were placed into my purse and the purse was then put around my neck, I was that paranoid.
The train trip up was uneventful. I read, I napped, I colored, I looked out the window. I tried to force myself to believe this was actually happening.
I did have something stuck in my head though. The entire train ride up, this song was in my head, Du riechst so gut. I don't know why, it just was. I hadn't even listened to it recently, in fact I hadn't really listened to Rammstein prior to the concert.
We arrived to a snowy Montreal with slushy streets that was a nightmare to traverse with Mike in his new wheelchair. We ate poutine, well not me, but Mike and Zombieman did. We struggled to return to the hotel, where I double checked the tickets had made the trip with us.
We readied ourselves and headed to the Bell Center. Being in a strange city, we took the 'wrong' way into the arena for a wheelchair. Had we known, we could have just walked above ground for a block and it would have taken us straight in without needing to navigate stairs, but it wouldn't be us if it was that easy. Waiting in line was agony.
Finally, we made it up the escalator and handed over the tickets I had so lovingly carried and into our seats. We were in the accessible section somewhat opposite to the stage.
The opening act was Combichrist. I really cannot tell you about this part of the concert. Its a blur and this is no slight on Combichrist whatsoever, but my impatience was starting to rear its ugly head. We then had to wait for about 1/2 hour for the setup before Rammstein took the stage. This was maddening. I don't know why, but each minute felt like forever.
Then, finally, after 12 years this happened...
The song: Rammlied
I was rapt. Time itself stopped. Songs ran into songs. Two encores and they played this...
The song: Du riechst so gut
Words cannot describe how I felt, this concert for which I had waited for so long. When they said goodbye, I was truly saddened. It seemed like they had just taken the stage and now they were leaving. I wanted them to continue, I wanted to hear more.
I guess I will have to head to Germany for more.