PRETTY MAIDS - Maid In Japan – Future World Live 30th Anniversary
April 3, 2020, 2 months ago
Been lucky enough to see the Maids perform the classic Future World album in its entirety, which is what comprises the backbone of this DVD/CD package, recorded over two nights in Tokyo, in '17. While they already have a trio of official live offerings in their catalog, this is made all the more poignant by singer Ronnie Atkins' recent battle with lung cancer. The album's running order has been juggled, to present a more fluid live show and following said nine tracks, the Danes add four songs from recent outings, before finishing with "Sin-Decade".
Atkins' skills in manipulating a crowd, as an old school frontman, are on display throughout. The keyboards are more prominent in the mix than Ken Hammer's lone guitar, especially on the desperate stab at ‘80s hairband immortality, aka "Love Games". The shortcoming is the absence of any Red, Hot & Heavy material (title cut, "Back To Back", "Cold Killer"). All are heavier than anything herein and were included (together or separately) later in the world tour. Those songs can be found on any of the aforementioned in-concert platters. "Loud & Proud" ditches the keys, Chris Laney strapping on a guitar to join (literally & figuratively) the cowboy hat wearing Hammer, who has a chance to display his fleet, jewelry encrusted fingers. "Rodeo" is an audience sing-along favorite. The syncopated drums of the twin guitar "Needles In The Dark" adds some power to the proceedings. Stage goes black after the Future World playback. In the darkness, (in)famous quotes from US presidents (Clinton, Nixon, Bush, Kennedy, etc.) presage the arrival of "Mother Of All Lies".
Extras on the DVD include eleven new millennium promotional videos (including "Kingmaker", "Little Drops Of Heaven" and "Bull's Eye", all of whom can be heard/seen on the Tokyo recording). There's documentary style footage from japan, as well as the bang Your head festival, in Germany, plus interviews with Atkins, Hammer, top hat bassist Rene Shades and Laney.
Now how about resurrecting that set in North America, once Ronnie's able.