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IQ - Stage CD (album) cover





4.42 | 127 ratings

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5 stars This 2 DVD set features 2 seperate live performances with a week between the 2 (one at Nearfest and the second in Germany).As you may have guessed it features most of Dark Matter live.The first disc (Nearfest) has slightly more tracks than the German performance including Widows Peak and some of the Subterranea album plus Guiding Light from The Seventh House album.

The Nearfest performance is basically all you would expect from IQ.Professional and very polished with not a hair out of place.Its mostly shot front on and lacks a bit on interesting visuals to be honest.As its an American show Pete Nicholls has to introduce Harvest Of Souls as ''contrary to popular belief this is not bashing America''.Yeah right Peter whatever you say! Still the crowd seem to accept this and don't storm the stage at any point LOL.Overall I would rate this disc at 4 stars.Solid stuff but much of what you would expect really.

So to the second disc.WOW what a difference.Now this confirms my suspicions that when bands normally record a live performance they tend to go for a cautious approach.After all if you mess up what can you do about it other than maybe 'cheat' and patch it up in the studio.Anyway thats not needed here.With Nearfest safely in the bag they let fly on this performance.The band sound looser yet tighter as well.Andy Edwards deserves special mention in particular behind the drum kit.He is magnificient giving a heavyweight display of drum prowess that even Carl Palmer would be proud of! The opening song Sacred Sound has him playing beautifully off the snare and propelling the music forward on rocket propelled fuel.The faster sections on Harvest Of Souls are emmense thanks to our Andy.Of course the rest of the band are not exactly shoddy either.They feed off the energy and the crowd really get into it.At the end IQ are dragged back onto the stage for an encore..I get the distinct impression that the concert organsiser would have been linched otherwise! Sound wise I would put second disc just ahead of the first and well surpassing any other IQ DVD.This is how DVD's should sound.I also like the more active camera work that gets beside the musicians and so helps the enjoyment of the performance.This disc rates 5 stars.

Overall therefore this is 4.5 stars.So do I round up or down? Well my view is that you get this for the second disc.Its fantastic and is one of the best DVD's I've seen and heard.

richardh | 5/5 |


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