On Monday evening, popular German heavy metal band Rammstein performed to a crowd of more than 80,000 with a 21-song set at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia’s capital.
In a bold statement made in defiance of the Russian government, guitarists Paul Landers and Richard Kruspe shared a kiss onstage towards the end of the gig.
Since 2013, Russia has had an anti-gay “propaganda” law in place that, according to the Guardian, was aimed at preventing children and youth from being exposed to homosexuality or information about the LGBTQ2 community in order to maintain what the Kremlin considers a “normal” lifestyle.
The bold and playful protest was made during the performance of Ausländer, one of the band’s latest singles from their 2019 self-titled album.
“We love you, Russia,” the band wrote as a caption to a post on their Instagram page following the critically acclaimed concert.
The post shared a picture of the kiss in question, captured by German photographer Jens Koch.
As revealed on Koch’s Instagram page, this was not the first time members of Rammstein have shown their support to the LGBTQ2 community.
Prior to the now-viral kiss in Moscow, the photographer shared a picture he captured of the band in Chorzów, Poland from July 24.
Landers, 54, and drummer Christoph Schneider were seen floating atop the massive crowd in rubber dinghies while wielding Pride flags.
“Wow, this means a lot to me,” wrote Koch. “My favorite band standing up for equal rights in Poland this week.”
On his personal Instagram page, Schneider, 53, wrote, “Equal rights for all,” with the hashtag #lgbtqpoland.
As a thank you to Rammstein for supporting LGBTQ2 communities across the world, fans took to social media to applaud the band.
Here’s what some Twitter users had to say:
“Nothing is more goddamn metal than planting a huge kiss on your bandmate onstage in Russia to protest the country’s abysmal treatment of LGBTQ+ people.” wrote another fan. “F— yeah, Rammstein,” he concluded.
Currently, Rammstein is in the midst of an extensive European tour in support of the Rammstein album.
The tour concludes in Vienna, with two nights at the iconic Ernst-Happel-Stadion venue in Austria. The band is set to embark on another European tour in 2020.
Tickets and additional information can be found through the official Rammstein website.
The band has scheduled no Canadian tour dates.