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IQ - Stage CD (album) cover

STAGE

IQ

 

Neo-Prog

4.48 | 111 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
5 stars The best of IQ live!

IQ has never been and will most probably never be among my favourite bands, not even among my favourite bands within the Neo-progressive category, but it would certainly have been impossible for them to make a more perfect DVD than this one! Filmed and recorded at just the right moment in the band's long career i.e. just after the release of their best ever studio album, Dark Matter, and featuring their best ever material. Indeed, had the band contacted me personally and allowed me to determine the set list, I would have chosen pretty much exactly these tracks!

Dark Matter is by far my favourite IQ album and this DVD release features no less than two whole concerts from the tour in support of that great album; one filmed and recorded in the US and the other one in Germany, both in July 2005. The American show on disc one should certainly be considered to be the main feature of this DVD release as the German show on disc two is shorter and does not feature a single song which is not on the first disc. (Frankly, I don't see the point of including the second disc at all, but then again I actually don't remember if I ever watched it!). Anyway, what is featured on disc one alone warrants a high rating. The package is indeed very nice and the set list, as I have already said, features just what I would say is the very best of IQ. We are offered a very nice cross-selection of their albums from the early 80's to the mid 2000's and the majority of the songs sound better here than on the studio albums. This is especially true of the oldest songs since those early 80's IQ albums were badly produced and sounded quite horrible even by early 80's standards, indeed by almost any standards! Awake And Nervous, Widow's Peak and The Wake are the best tracks from their respective studio albums from IQ's early days and they are all here sounding better than ever. The Last Human Gateway from Tales From The Lush Attic also had its moments but personally I have always thought that it was too long for its own good. Here we get an edited version which suits me just perfectly.

The show (indeed both shows) open(s) with Sacred Sound taken from Dark Matter. In total three of the five tracks from that album are performed here including the 20 minute plus Harvest Of Souls. This means that, counting in minutes, the large majority of the Dark Matter album is featured here. Guiding Light as well as the title track of The Seventh House represents that album and the middle section of The Narrow Margin and Leap Of Faith represent Subterranea and Ever respectively. Even Nomzamo is represented here with No Love Lost which was the best track from that otherwise weak album. The only album not represented at all is Are You Sitting Comfortably?

The only song that was genuinely new to me before I got this DVD was It All Stops Here which is not featured on any of the regular studio albums, but is apparently a very old IQ number. This song has now become one of my favourite IQ songs due to this great performance. I have since heard earlier versions of the song, but this one is the best!

The editing and production of this DVD is also among the best I've ever seen, with great video effects, lighting, etc. The fantastic cover art is based on the one for Dark Matter. Stage is certainly an excellent live DVD and a very good introduction to IQ. Indeed, it might be all the IQ you will ever need!

Very highly recommended!

SouthSideoftheSky | 5/5 |

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