German metal group Rammstein will be embarking on their first-ever North American stadium tour in August. It’s the first time the band will tour the U.S. since 2011, and to promote what are sure to be a series of pyrotechnic-heavy events, they did it the most metal way possible: with a blimp flying over Los Angeles.
An airship – the technical name for a blimp – has floated between 1,000 and 2,000 feet in the air along the Southern California coast this past week, with the words “RAMMSTEIN North America Stadium Tour” and the hashtag “#GETREADYAMERICA” emblazoned on extra-durable polyester.
With a maximum passenger occupancy of three people, the 125-foot long vessel is the smallest size of commercial blimp, in which Variety took an hourlong ride on a clear Friday afternoon in L.A., departing from a designated space next to Long Beach Airport. Airships of that size, as this reporter learned, are particularly sensitive to weather and sunlight, the latter of which can impact the helium used to make the blimp lighter-than-air, and, in turn, the vessel’s buoyancy.
Unlike Rammstein’s on-stage antics, helium is non-flammable. But like for those attending a Rammstein concert, a leisurely float in a blimp can leave riders with tinnitus.
The band first teased news of the tour on their Facebook page with a post of a map of North America with various states highlighted and the caption “Get ready, Amerika!”
Rammstein gained international recognition in the late 1990s with their hit single “Du Hast.” The industrial metal act released their seventh untitled studio album last May.
Guitarists Paul Landers and Richard Kruspe made headlines in July when the two kissed on-stage at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, heralded as a protest of Russia’s anti-LGBTQ laws (although the two had done so at other shows on tour).
The North American stadium tour kicks off in Montreal on Aug. 20 at Parc Jean-Drapeau and will include stops in Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Chicago, Los Angeles and Mexico City.