When Mr. G and I arrived at the Palace of Auburn Hills, we were puzzled to find ourselves surrounded by more Dream Theater t-shirts, ill-fitting corsets, and Hot Topic accessories than we had ever seen in any one place, including comic book conventions and Ren Faires. (Yeah, we were 13 once, shut up.) "Scheise," we whispered to each other. "These people are NERDS!"
It should have occurred to us that an extremely theatrical act performed in a European language would attract theater kids and, you know, people who like to talk in European accents. Gamers, historical reenactors, RPG players.
And Mr. G and I were freaks among the geeks. While just about everyone in the entire arena wore black, we went for a "Mein Land" look riffing off of the latest single's retro beach themed video.
Lead singer Till Lindemann wrote the song "Mein Land" after getting harassed on a California beach for being a foreigner. Even before that incident, Rammstein had been reluctant to perform in the United States after some arrests in the '90s for the lewdness of their performance art. Mr. G and I were most appreciative that Rammstein not only came back but brought with them 25 18-wheelers full of explosives to set off on our fifth wedding anniversary weekend, so we thought we'd go all happy technicolor.
We were surprised that nobody else did this, although some bro dudes in the hotel elevator were dressed up in homage to the end portion of the "Mein Land" video, which involves Jokeresque evil clown makeup. That was pretty excellent. Did I just mention the bro dudes? Yes, there were also bro dudes at the show, and whole families with children, and grandma geeks with coral lipstick and grandpa geeks with septum piercings. And as we stood in line to buy t-shirts and rode the shuttle buses and climbed into our seats, we also found ourselves talking excitedly to all of these people about our shared obsession. Despite sticking out like beach balls on an oil spill, Mr. G and I came to understand that WE ARE THOSE PEOPLE. We are Rammstein geeks.
The Mary Sue defines geekdom thusly:
"The thing that all geeks have in common... is not what we are interested in, but how we go about consuming our interests. 'Consuming' is the perfect word for it, because geeks are rarely a passive audience. We devour our interests... It isn’t enough for us just to enjoy something. When something piques our interest or elicits an emotional response from us, we have to know why. We have to dissect it, put it under a microscope, and come to understand it on a molecular level. This mental process is the same, regardless of whether we are talking about breaking down narrative structure or sequencing a genome or designing a costume... The more details there are, the happier we become. This is why we love things like DVD commentaries... We are, perhaps, the most enthusiastic people on the planet."
DAS IST MEIN TEIL. For the past week, Mr. G and I have been watching Rammstein DVD commentaries every night after the baby goes to sleep. We are super enthusiastic about our favorite band.
From the moment the set began with "Sonne" and columns of fire blasted heat into our faces from full across the mosh pit, we were in ecstasy. The show was everything we dreamed it would be--a masterpiece of pyromaniacal opera buffa mixed with skull-crushing heavy metal, sprinkled with glitter, and topped with penis cannon foam spray. Till was as charming as Hannibal Lecter. Flake was frenetic. Richard was adorable and flirtatious. Ollie's torso was mesmerizing. Paul was goofy. Schneider was a cross-dressing, masochistic doll.
When Till said "We love you" in English at the end of the set, I melted like combat boot soles under a magnesium flare.
Because I am a geek.
And I'm okay with that. I'm not the same kind of geek, exactly, as the man in the utility kilt or the woman in the purple furry boots and fishnet arm warmers. But we all geek out for Rammstein. If The Mary Sue is right that being a geek means being fully engaged with an interest, devoted to details, and liking "something so much that a casual mention of it makes your whole being light up like a halogen lamp," then I'll wear the label with pride.
After all, if I ever wrote a book that got readers this geeked, I would consider that the greatest accomplishment possible as a writer.
What do YOU geek out about? Does it inspire you? How does it influence what you write or create? Come out and be proud!