Slipknot, absolutely brilliant as Friday’s headliners. Iron Maiden, sublime headling Saturday night… who in their right mind would want to follow that and “close” Download 2013. No-one surely can even compete with what we have seen the previous two nights… You try telling that to Till Lindemann and his backing band. Some unknown German’s were going to give Download one of the most spectacular closing performances you could imagine. Rammstein delivered once more.

Having seen Rammstein on their arena tour last year, and at Sonisphere a few years back, we knew it was going to be an incendary performance. We’d heard murmured questions about whether the outdoor festival set would carry as big an impact as the arena shows… We already knew… Rammstein already knew… and after tonight, the whole of Castle Donington would know the answer.

Opening with ‘Ich tu dir weh’, Lindemann descends from the roof, the man just oozes stage presence, menacing and imposing, he’s even carrying off the pink fur coat really well. Rammstein are the sort of band that you cannot take your eyes off for a second. They demand and command your attention. Each track has a theatrical stageshow that’s delivered with military precision… and yep, it normally involves setting something on fire, or humiliating keyboard gimp Christian Lorenz… actually in many cases, both. If you’ve ever seen a Rammstein show you’ll know exactly what we mean.

In between cooking Lorenz, sodomising him, burning mic stands, flame throwers, and generally letting rip with pretty much every pyrotechnic and firework available to them, Rammstein’s performance is flawless. It’s a standard festival set of crowd pleasers and classics. The sheer volume of the crowd spitting back ‘Du Hast’ is quite frankly awe inspiring. Lindemann is firing on all cylinders in more ways than one as he uses a crossbow to unleash a pyrotechnics sortie towards the sound tower.

‘Mein Herz Brennt’ strips Rammstein back, with Lindemeann, Flake and a piano. Rammstein can throw more than industrial metal punches, they can also do soft and haunting, but back to normality as ‘Ich Will’ literally gets the ground shaking. Rammstein pummel Download into submission, everything is delivered with unnerving precision and fluidity. For a finale, ‘Sonne’ and ‘Pussy’ simply level the place as yet more fireworks launch skywards.

90,000 jaws are slackened, 90,000 ears are ringing and 90,000 have just witnessed a simply gobsmackingly ballistic, and nigh on perfect ending to Download 2013. Mr Copping, our hats are off to you sir… and, seriously, how the fuck are you going to top that for 2014?

Rammstein – Official Website

Photo Credit: Andrew Whitton Photography

Download Festival –  Official Website