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IQ - Stage CD (album) cover





4.42 | 129 ratings

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4 stars Brand new on ProgArchives, and brand new in my hands too. Just a few days after my seeing IQ's 25h anniversary gig (which was filmed, by the way, so...who knows.), where I made this purchase, I watched it to relive the moments I had during IQ's "Dark Mattour" in 2004 and 2005. In total I saw three gigs of this tour, and this DVD set is a nice keepsake and reminder of the tour I saw. Of course, I have to admit, being there yourself is one hell of a lot more exciting than viewing it on your couch, but still.

Well, onto Stage One, NEARfest in the USA. As is written by Peter on the digipack, there were some sound problems at the beginning, and yes, it's slightly noticeable, but not overwhelming. Peter's voice is good. Not as great as he was last friday, but I've certainly heard him worse, as on the IQ20 digipack. The lighting is good, sound is slowly re-adjusted to fit, and everyone's visible on the huge stage. My biggest complaint of this DVD is that the John Jowitt (bass) and Andy Edwards (drums) are not filmed much. You mostly see them in shots with other musicians, or the whole band together. Most of the camera work is focused on Peter and Mikey (guitars), and the occassional Martin (keys).

The songs themselves are performed great, and they all sound good in a live setting. Especially the openers "Sacred Sound" and "It All Stops Here" work quite well. The album "Ever" is being represented with "Leap of Faith". Personally I would have preferred "Further Away" or "The Darkest Hour" even, but it works. "Born Brilliant" is a lovely dark song that seeps with self-pity. Their previous studio album, "The Seventh House" is represented with the title track itself, which is a great song, plus "Guiding Light", which has a more ballad-y feel to it. Speaking of ballads, The middle sections of both "The Lost Human Gateway" and "The Narrow Margin" are beautiful and a nice switch from the more rockier stuff such as "Awake and Nervous" and the brilliant "The Wake".

"Harvest of Souls" is one big song that consists of six parts, and they play it fully. It's a great song, but as with so many long songs, they tend to be a bit of a drag. Personally I have that with songs from THE FLOWER KINGS and SPOCK'S BEARD, but with this IQ song, it's just right and interesting enough, plus lyrically it appeals to me. :)

Stage Two, and therefore DVD2, is the Burg Herzberg Festival in Germany, an outdoors thing. They play a similar set to Stage One, with a few songs like Widow's Peak and the Middle Sections left out, and the setlist is shuffled. The camera work and sound is better than on the first DVD, and finally we can see John Jowitt. Yay! ^^ Too bad that the setlist is nearly the same, though, so watching both Stages in one go is a little bit too much. But if you watch these DVD's seperately, you'll see they are high-quality records of two memorable concerts, and definately worth purchasing. Where "IQ20" has Peter with facial paint and a not-so-great voice, and where, dear me, "Live From London" is in the 80's, where the band are still enthusiastic young upstarts who don't care whether or not they suck, "Stage" has a professional and mature performance, much like the IQ I know and am used to. This is definately worth your money, though you might want to save up a bit, as there are at least two DVD's coming soon; "Dark Mattour", where I was present, and a DVD release of the videotape "Forever Live", shot back in '93. And since the 25th anniversary show was apparently filmed too, who knows...I won't reveal a thing about it, other than there are some very very nice surprises in that gig. ;)

Conclusion? Well, it's's a great DVD set, and in my opinion better than the previous two DVD's, but it's a shame the setlist on both DVD's is very similar. That's why I give it 4 stars.

Yours, Tailscent

Tailscent | 4/5 |


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