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3 stars (First review of this title.) This IQ concert from 1993 was released as a strong double CD, and over a decade later it was released as a double DVD. The first disc is the main concert. As it is often case with the 'bonus' discs, the extra material here is of extremely low value or interest. At least if you're not a die-hard fan.

1) Peter Nicholls' commentary... I actually forgot to have a look at it, but commentaries aren't my cup of tea in general. 2) Two extra tracks from the concert in Stadthalle, Kleve. 'No Love Lost' isn't among their best tracks, and 'Wiggle' is just a silly doodling for introducing the players. Low visual quality. 3) Three earlier concert tracks from Tilburg, again with low visual quality. Two tracks included in the main concert, one not. 4) Also from Tilburg concerts are three extra tracks, none of them very good. At this point I was pretty bored with the extra material and didn't care to view them completely. 5) Photo Gallery. Yawn... 6) IQ Family Tree. Well, it may feel slightly amusing to use arrows to follow the branches, but frankly that family tree would work much better in printed text. By the way, I was surprised to see how many (mostly unknown, except for Jadis namely) bands these guys have been involved with. All in all, the sedond disc is nothing but a one-night-stand for others than fanatic fans. And I bet anyone really interested in the IQ family tree will copy it to paper instead of returning to the clumsy DVD presentation of it.

OK, the first disc is what counts. That concert shows the band at the peak of their career up to that point. There aren't really weak tracks at all. (Though I think IQ improved later on, especially with Subterranea.) The visual style is quite traditional; lights with colours but not any stage settings to speak of. And that's just fine. Singer Peter Nicholls shows more showmanship than the rest of the band, even though he's not stealing the whole drama the way Peter Gabriel did in GENESIS. But there is one number, 'The Enemy Smacks', in which he does follow Gabriel's footsteps and gives the epic a visual interpetation. First as a junkie stretching the rubber string in his arms and shivering frightfully as if kicked by drugs, and, in a later section, creeping in a ghostly cloak and white mask (pictures of the costume can be seen also in the CD version). He does it fine, and one nearly wishes they - or he - were even more followers of the Gabriel's Genesis and had the same visualisation with costumes etc. on other tracks too. But then again, it might feel nothing but aping.

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Posted Thursday, November 25, 2010 | Review Permalink

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