I got a train back into the centre of Lisbon, and then headed out to the Pavilhão Atlântico. I was incredibly excited about the gig, and only one problem stood in my way. I didn’t have a ticket.
I’d bought and paid for one, but it had never turned up in London. A friendly guy from the ticket office had phoned me up and had told me it would be no problem. I’d just have to go to the box office on the night and pick up another. So I headed to the first box office I found and showed them an e-mail I’d been sent. They directed me to another box office, which directed me back to the first one. All the while, huge crowds of Iberian metallers were pouring into the venue.
The ticket offices couldn’t decide between them what I should do. Eventually they told me to just join a queue and explain the situation to the people on the door. So I queued, explaining my situation in Spanish to a succession of bouncers, each less receptive and more bemused than the last. The final one was extremely reluctant to let me pass and had to talk to several people on his radio before opening the door and pushing me through into the arena.
It wasn’t long until showtime. I’d missed most of the support act, but they were rubbish anyway. I made my way deep into the crowd of 20,000. The lights went down, we all cheered wildly, and the opening strains of Rammlied began. It was the first night of the tour and not everything went smoothly; the first big explosions was slightly mistimed, making me think for a fraction of a second that it wasn’t part of the show. But I and everyone else moshed furiously. It was a stunning start to the show.
They played every single song off the new album, except the one I wanted above all, Mehr. That was the only disappointment. They played the classics like Du Hast, Feuer Frei, and Sonne. During Seemann, the keyboard player sailed out onto the crowd in a rubber dinghy in the traditional Rammstein way.
The second encore ended with Engel. It had been a stunning show and I headed home feeling like 38 Euros had been spectacular value for money. I was in an excellent mood, and the only dark cloud on the horizon was that I’d have to get up at 5am the next day to catch a flight to Belgium.