Published on June 3rd, 2020 | by Justin G.
Pretty Maids: Maid In Japan (Frontiers, 2020)
2020 has not been an easy year for fans of live music. With concerts and festivals cancelled for (at least) the rest of the year, we have to rely on live releases to help ease the pain. Fortunately, as is true with most things in life, Pretty Maids is the answer. The Danish melodic metal legends have a brand new live release titled Maid In Japan: Future World Live 30th Anniversary, and while it’s not the same as being there, it’s still enough to make your eyes and ears happy.
As you may have guessed from the title, this live release celebrates the 30th anniversary of the band’s classic 1987 album Future World. It features a performance from late 2018 in Kawasaki, Japan where the band played the full Future World album plus a handful of later tracks. If you have the other Pretty Maids live releases, or better yet have seen them live, you know how good they are on stage. This is no exception. The band is super-tight and Ronnie Atkins puts on a frontman master class. They absolutely light up every song, singles and deep cuts alike. The crowd has a great energy and you can hear the band feeding off of that. It’s the kind of show that really makes you wish you could have been there. It’s also enough to make me wish they hadn’t cancelled their scheduled ProgPower USA appearance last year, but IT’S OK, I’M TOTALLY NOT BITTER. (ahem)
My own preferences run more towards the latter ten years of the band’s material, but Future World is a classic for a reason, and this performance is a great reminder why that is. I’d still love to see a lengthier set covering their entire career, but it helps having “Mother Of All Lies,” “Kingmaker,” “Bull’s Eye,” Little Drops Of Heaven” and “Sin-Decade” to round out this set.
Maid In Japan is a great reminder of everything we love about Pretty Maids and live music, and until we get the chance to go see bands in person again, I’ll take all the reminders I can get.
Edition Notes: You’ve got multiple options with this one. There’s a CD/DVD release, a Blu-ray release that doesn’t have the CD but is loaded with bonus footage, interviews and music videos, and an LP version for the vinyl collectors. Depending on where you order it, the Blu-ray and LP versions may come with a digital version as well. I can speak to the quality of the Blu-ray, which looks very sharp and sounds amazing.
Summary: Essential live set from an essential band