Pretty Maids

Wacken - 2013

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

The types of metal tried out today were very varied indeed. So far we had gone through power metal with Powerwolf and some more funky stuff with Ugly Kid Joe, and now it was time for some classic rock n’ roll/metal by the Danish band Pretty Maids. Both of the former had done a great job, and now it was time for the old Dannebrog (that’s the name of the Danish flag) to show its worth.

”Do you want some more rock 'n' roll or do you want some more heavy metal?!”
- Ronnie Atkins (vocals)


Pretty Maids had the True Metal stage at their disposal, and they used an unusual intro depicting presidents denying stuff (starting with Clinton saying “I did not have sex with this woman”) to mark their arrival.
After this a loud cheer arose from the crowd as the band took the stage and started the real set with Mother Of All Lies, the likewise opener of their brand new album Motherland that had only been out for a few months. This album was visited again with the second song of the set, I See Ghosts, but after this the band chose to look further back for inspiration for the rest of the gig – it seemed to me that both old and new hit home with the crowd, but personally I didn’t mind a few songs that I could actually sing along to!
It was impressive to see how active Ronnie Atkins was in his performance considering that he was wearing a leather jacket on a blazing hot day, and even more so that he had just recently broken a few ribs (the bandages were still showing underneath the jacket). It was also impressive how little the injury seemed to affect his singing; the only real problem with this was that his microphone was turned down far too low in the beginning of the concert, and that is hardly his fault.
René Shades also kept the performance going with his usual wild style of playing and acting, but the rest of the band dragged far behind the two aforementioned gentlemen – Morten Sandager and Allan Tschicaja were completely anonymous this day, and even though Ken Hammer is easily recognisable and almost a Pretty Maids trademark on the stage, he couldn’t really be bothered to get his eyes of his guitar this day.

“This is just for you Wacken!”
- Atkins (vocals)


The crowd that had happily cheered the band on in the beginning kept this work up through the entire gig in a big way, combining it with lots and lots of applause, but this was about as wild as things got. Maybe the heat was getting to people, or maybe it was because only two of the men on stage bothered to make an effort – we’ll never know for sure, but I have my bet down.
As tradition has it, Wacken did get to try out some singing as well and they did it rather well, especially in songs like Back To Back and Future World. The latter saw the first and only crowd surfer of the concert sail by, empty beer cup in hand and a look of anticipation on his face (was he hoping for the band or the guards to fill it up for him?).
Even though things weren’t getting out of hand, the gig had a low-key, pleasant atmosphere going for it, which proved good for the afternoon drinking. Some couldn’t handle it though, and it didn’t exactly make anyone proud to see a large Viking with a Danish flag over his shoulder fondle his own nipples close to where I was standing...

In the end, Pretty Maids didn’t reach the same heights as the two bands we had seen before them, not even close. It was, as mentioned, a pleasant pass-time that was quickly forgotten during the rest of the day. Even though it wasn’t bad, I know Pretty Maids are capable of so much more than what they gave us here today, and I expect them to bring their A-game next time I see them.

Setlist:

Mother of All Lies
I See Ghosts
Back To Back
Rodeo
Needles In The Dark
Yellow Rain
I.N.V.U.
Little Drops Of Heaven
Future World
Red, Hot And Heavy

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