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IQ Stage album cover
4.42 | 129 ratings | 12 reviews | 69% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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DVD/Video, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc One
1. Sacred Sound
2. It All Stops Here
3. Leap Of Faith
4. Born Brilliant
5. The Seventh House
6. Drum Solo
7. No Love Lost
8. Widow's Peak
9. The Narrow Margin (middle section)
10. Guiding Light
11. Harvest Of Souls
12. Awake And Nervous
13. The Last Human Gateway (middle section)
14. The Wake

Disc Two
1. Sacred Sound
2. It All Stops Here
3. Born Brilliant
4. The Seventh House
5. Drum Solo
6. No Love Lost
7. Leap Of Faith
8. The Wake
9. Harvest Of Souls
10. Awake And Nervous

Total Time 260 minutes

Line-up / Musicians

- Andy Edwards / drums & percussion
- Mike Holmes / guitars & keyboards
- John Jowitt / bass guitar & bass pedals
- Peter Nicholls / lead vocals
- Martin Orford / keyboards & backing vocals

Releases information

Disc One
NEARfest, Bethlehem, PA, USA: July 9th, 2005
Disc Two
Burg Herzberg Festival, Germany: July 16th, 2005
Special features:
'Stage And Screen' featurette
NEARfest soundcheck footage
'Andy's First Gig': Le Medley, Montreal, Qc, Canada (featurette)
Photo Gallery.zberg Festival, Germany: July 16th, 2005

Thanks to Terra Australis for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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IQ Stage ratings distribution

(129 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(69%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(23%)
Good, but non-essential (5%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

IQ Stage reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by richardh
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.

Review by erik neuteboom
5 stars This year the enthousiastic five piece band IQ exists 30 years. I have seen IQ in all decennia (Nomzamo tour in 1987, Forever tour in 1993 and The Seventh Hour tour in 2000) and could experience how they turned into a 'neo-symphonic-rock-orchestra'.

On this 2-DVD set (two 2005 concerts, in the USA and Germany) you can witness their professional and inspired approach and how eager they still are to please their fans. And IQ anno 2005 sound as never before: singer Peter Nicholls his limited voice has strongly matured (more powerful and a wider range), the rhythm-section sounds more adventurous than in the past (new drummer Andy Edwards is great) and the duo Holmes/Orford deliver such an outstanding interplay and awesome soli, they are the extra dimension in the dynamic and often bombastic IQ sound. Especially Martin Orford his contribution is both impressive as tasteful: a majestic church-organ sound in Sacred Sound, lush Hammond in It All Stops Here, wonderful choir-Mellotron in Born Brilliant and Widow's Peak, beautiful piano arpeggio's in The Seventh House and flashy synthesizer flights in Guiding Light. Second best is Mike Holmes with his powerful, often propulsive guitar riffs and his fiery play featuring lots of howling and biting runs (on Born Brilliant he even plays slide guitar). My highlights on this 2-DVD set are (USA has a more extensive set-list but in Germany IQ has more interaction with their fans): Leap Of Faith with a captivating intrumental intermezzo, Widow's Peak with a sensational break featuring powerful guitar riffs and intense violin- Mellotron waves, Guiding Light with all members freaked out, Harvest Of Souls with a great build-up and 'grand finale' and Awake And Nervous delivers amazing interplay and Holmes playing some Status Quo (Rocking'All Over The World). In the 'encore' The Last Human Gateway he wears a McDonalds t-shirt, humor and prog, not always a twin brother! Mike is also the most enthousiastic IQ member but all other members seem to enjoy the concerts too. The lighshow is decent with some exciting light effects and the show also features screen-projections in some songs.

Looking at these two DVD's I realise that this fantastic progrock band has become a 'biggie', they belong to the top of the progressive rock scene. I am absolutely delighted about Stage, five stars, they fully deserve it!!

Review by Heptade
5 stars This new two disk DVD set is a perfect example of how to put together a successful concert DVD. Two gigs a week apart in very different settings were filmed, at a classy theatre with a quiet seated audience at Nearfest, and at an outdoor festival full of blissed out hippies at Berg Herzberg. The set lists are much the same (the Nearfest set was longer), but the setting brought out different performances, the Nearfest one being more classy and restrained, the German one more rocking and earthy. Both are excellent. IQ does material from The Wake, Nomzamo, Ever, The Seventh House and Dark Matter, their 2004 masterpiece. I was salivating at the prospect of seeing not one, but two perfomances of Harvest of Souls, my favourite piece of music of the new millennium, and I was not disappointed. I don't know if IQ fixed up this DVD after the fact, as so many performers do, but Peter Nicholls' voice is studio perfect, as are the rest of the band's playing and tones. The DVD is shot well and edited professionally, much better than DVDs I've seen by bands with much bigger budgets. A couple of fun documentary extras round out the package, which is great value for the money (I got mine from The Laser's Edge at a very reasonable price), and is contained in a great digipack with slipcase. I place this up there with Rush's lovingly prepared R30 and Rush in Rio packages for sheer quality and value. If you love Dark Matter, you need this DVD. As a prog DVD (and there are precious few to be had), this is a masterpiece and as essential a document of the best of the genre as we have had so far.
Review by E-Dub
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars In 2006 we had some outstanding prog DVD's released with Dream Theater's Score, Pendragon's And Everyone To The Stage, and Porcupine Tree's Arriving Somewhere; however, leading the pack was IQ's Stage, which captures their performance at NEARFest in America, and a similar (albeit shorter) show in Germany. Clearly this band should be recognized as a tight progressive band who focuses on musicianship, who are craftsmen at penning some of the best music prog has to offer, and delivering a great performance. Naysayers of the neo progressive genre should really take notice because I wonder if this band is more symphonic prog than neo.

Recorded during the tour in support of the highly acclaimed Dark Matter, IQ enraptures the enthusiastic American crowd with selections spanning their career. One of the biggest highlights is the opener "Sacred Sound", which is coincidentally the powerful opener for Dark Matter. I just love it when Nicholls finishes the 'what if I'm no longer sane' line, Edwards counts off by beating his sticks together, and the band just explodes in a blinding fury with Edwards playing a great hi-hat/snare rhythm.

"The Seventh House" is another highlight, as it's not only one of my favorite songs by IQ, but Nicholl's delivers it with such conviction as he's flanked my images of war on the screens behind him. A tremendous song by itself, it comes alive while watching the visuals.

The true crescendo of Stage is the performance of the epic "Harvest Of Souls". Widely considered IQ's greatest epic, to see the performance is something to behold. It begins with Holmes seated with a 12 string acoustic and playing that beautiful intro, but quickly gaines steam as the band dances between Orford's swirling keyboards. To see the crowds reaction upon the song's conclusion is proof that we Americans appreciate a great progressive epic, as well. It could be the fact that we're deprived of it and appreciate it that much more! We take whatever we can get.

The band seems to be enjoying themselves, too. Holmes' style on the guitar reminds me a lot of Alex Lifeson of Rush, but his awkward dances remind me of a clumsy Steve Martin in The Jerk as he tries to keep rhythm with his adopted african american family on the front porch. Jowitt, on the other hand, is a true showman as he visits all points of the stage while exhibiting his mastery of the bass. And hats off to new drummer Andy Edwards, who replaces longtime stickman Paul Cook. Edwards comes in seamlessly and anchored the sound so brilliantly that you really don't miss Cookie. He plays Cooks parts with ease, but makes me wonder how he'll put his stamp on the new IQ disc. As good as Cook is, Edwards has the finesse of a Jeff Porcaro, but the speed of a Colaiuta or Peart (Listen to Frost's* Milliontown and you'll know what I mean). I foresee an upgrade in the IQ onslaught of sound.

So, in the end I'm going to go ahead and give this gem 5 stars. I normally don't award discs/DVD's 5 stars (unless it's Marillion's Brave), but this is a great DVD. It's loaded with extra goodies, but the performance is the best part. I guess if I had one gripe, it's that I'd like to see more epics done in their entirety. I know they are allowed only a certain amount of time; however, I'd take out a couple shorter songs, and maybe play "The Narrow Margin" or "The Last Human Gateway" in their entirety. Still, it doesn't take away from the fact that this is how concert DVD's should be done. Excellent job!

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Do we really need a third double IQ DVD in a row? This was my question when I heard about Stage, their most recent live efford, covering the Dark Matter tour. It annoyed me that it was basicly two concerts from the same tour, so, in the end, you got mostly the same songs on both discs.

After watching both videos one thing is clear: the band is really awsome and one concert would be worth the price you pay (and then some). Ok, what would you expect from a band that releases one of their greatest CDs after 25 years of existence? One that easily match prog masterpieces like The Wake? They couldnīt be that legendary without merits. So I was a bit anxious to see how those songs would be performed live. I must say I was a bit disapointed that they skipped two of that albumīs tunes (Red Dust Shadows and You Never Will), I still think those would sound great for the concept, but it seemes they though otherwise. Anyway, on the Stage you get a full Harvest Of Souls, which is, after all, what everybody really wanted to see live. And both performances are brilliant.

Actually, it seems that IQ can do no wrong, really. You might like one perfomance more than the other (Iīll take the Nearfest), but in the end the result will be always the same: a mesmerising perfomance of a band that has become a living legend. By the way, new drummer Andy Edwards fits in perfectly. A fantastic new DVD from one of the best prog acts ever. You īwonīt find any fault here (other than a more varied set list, and those missing The Dark Matter tracks). If you like IQ this is a must have. If you donīt know the band, this is a good starting point. They sound as fresh and exciting as ever. Higly recommended.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars IQ has always been one of neo progressive bands that I love until today. What I like about IQ most is their consistency in the kind of music they play. It has been so consistent from the beginning and getting better. Their last album Dark Matter showed their commitment to stick into neo progressive. This is what MARILLION should have ever learnt. The latest album by Marillion "Somewhere Else" is completely disappointing. As a matter of fact, my colleague who is now in London for Led Zeppelin Reunion concert, Tatan Taufik, watched the concert of Marillion in small club on December 5, 2007. So many empty seats and he could not bear until the concert finished. He went home to his hotel after Marillion played Sugar Mice. So bad. Yeah, their latest album is pretty disappointing, so boring. Compare it with IQ who has been staying focused with neo progressive music. It's getting better everytime. The new drummer Andy Edwards seems so dynamic in his drumming style.

This concert is another performance of IQ well crafted songs from their previous studio albums. Some were regular setlist and some are really new because they are taken from the latest album. Well, it starts beautifully with "Sacred Sound" - a brilliant song from Dark Matter album. It indicates the band maturity to bring this song alive. It's so interesting. It moves back to the band's previous album with "It All Stop Here" continued with "Leap of Faith" of Ever album. What a melodic song. As usual Peter Nichols sings wholeheartedly while Martin Orford plays his keyboard in relaxed way. Mike Holmes is busy with providing melodic and catchy guitar fills and solo throughout the concert. John Jowitt is probably the most dynamic band member that moves around the stage. Right after "the Seventh House" which is performed excellently, the band gives a chance to its new drummer Andy Edwards to perform solo. This is the first time in IQ's history of recorded live concert that they give a portion of solo to the band member. Andy is an excellent drummer as I can see it from the video. One thing that I like most is the performance of short track "The Wake".

Disc Two is also the excellent performance by the band. There is slightly different setlist but they still maintain the same energy and performance as in Disc One.

I am really glad watching this DVD because IQ is still consistent in their music direction and they are getting better over time. Bravo IQ! Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (written in Dec 7, 2007)

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Having witnessed the Montreal Le Medley July 7th concert of this tour in the lazy, hazy summer of 2005, which was new drummer Andy Edwards debut gig (talk about pressure!), this DVD turned out to be a perennial memento of a concert that ultimately exceeded my expectations. What IQ fans already knew and I was to discover, is the genuine passion the musicians have for their craft and the devotion they display to their fans, the reverse adulation worldwide that was definitely something to behold. My appreciation for IQ grew immensely that fateful night and with this DVD, it will just keep on growing. The Stage package contains two similar yet dissimilar concerts with different venues, crowds and reactions but with almost the same set list. They are both noteworthy but for the sake of eliminating repetition, I will stay with the NearFest experience. While Holmes and Orford supplied the massive melodic lines with undeniable audacity and Andy Edwards was pounding fiercely in his showcase debut tour, I was blown away by John Jowitt's flowing bass mastery and his startling stage personality. It is so refreshing to see a grown man enjoy playing for/with a crowd, constantly grimacing, smiling, prancing and posing, as if he was having the time of his life. As for stellar frontman Peter Nicholls' sympathetic so typically British demeanor, he not only can sing but also has an evident hold over the fans, in the finest Fish/Gabriel/ Wilson tradition. With such an upbeat crew, how can this not be a momentous experience? From the sacrosanct opener "Sacred Sound", with its gargantuan delivery, blasting forward without any restraint, purveying a melody that grabs the attention and admiration tout de suite, you just know this is gonna be some ride! The whole concert is just one long pleasure cruise, with luxuriant islands of sound bathed with the smoothest synthesizers and breeziest guitars, the prog ship steered by helmsmen Jowitt & Edwards, under the watchful microphone of Captain Nicholls. Just like being at the show, the momentum flows on unabated with the vertiginous "Leap of Faith", the sparkling "Born Brilliant", the solemn "The 7th House", a kick ass drum solo that rocked the house, the grandiose"Widow's Peak", the penetrating "Guiding Light", the truly magnificent epic "Harvest of Souls" which is arguably IQ's crowning achievement and a trio of encores: the resilient "Awake & Nervous", the middle section of the eerie "The Last Human Gateway" and the rousing "The Wake". Beautiful show, amazing DVD with gorgeous packaging, everything exuding that typical British class. 5 Nicholls.
Review by Hercules
5 stars This is a strange idea - 2 concerts off the same tour, with a largely similar setlist (the NEARFEST one has 4 extra tracks). However, whilst the NEARFEST one is almost clinically perfect with a slightly restrained approach in front of an very appreciative but docile audience, the German concert rather more energetic and animated with a far more vocal crowd.

However, if you want to hear the best band to emerge the last 30 years playing their best material to a standard no other current band can even get near, this DVD is the place to see it. Most of their classics are here - Leap of Faith, Widow's Peak, The Wake and the indescribably beautiful middle section of The Narrow Margin. The material comes from albums spanning their whole career, though Dark Matter is strongly featured, with Sacred Sound, Born Brilliant and Harvest of Souls on both sets. My only big regret is that they did not play You Never Will, my favourite track off that album.

Musically they are near perfection. Nicholl's voice is almost studio perfect and Mike Holmes plays brilliant solos and fills whilst still looking like a bank manager who has accidentally wandered on stage. Martin Orford is all over this performance; he is simply a genius even if he has practically no stage presence and actually sits down much of the time - his keyboards fill out and embellish beautifully the huge sound the band generates. New boy Andy Edwards fills in seamlessly for Paul Cook and John Jowett demonstrates why he has won the CRS best bassist award every year since about 1862, as well as providing the only real stage presence by visiting every part of the stage.

The camera work at NEARFEST is very safe, with the vast majority of shots being from the front, although there are some excellent sections where the musicians are shown shot individually but superimposed alongside each other. The German concert is much more adventurous in this respect with far more close ups, though I'm not sure I really want to see the hairs up Peter Nicholl's nose!

In summary, this has to be the best live DVD I've ever seen. Never mind the duplication; if there had only been one performance, the quality of the NEARFEST recording is so outstanding it would be well worth the cost alone. I have absolutely no hesitation in giving it the highest rating. If you don't have this, your collection simply isn't complete.

And finally, IQ are classic symphonic prog; when are we going to consign the ridiculous concept of neo-prog to the scrapheap, where it belongs?

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
4 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!

Review by friso
2 stars IQ - Stage (2006)

zzz... zzz... zzz...

Progressive rock is not known to be music for intensive live concerts with bands giving wild performances. Often there are no jumping guitarists, insain drummers, banging bass-players and vocalist that commune very well with an audience. Often there are some light-shows, but they never are as intensive as with many other rock-styles. This typical form of ignorance of the crowd, feeling of musical superiority or just clumsiness on stage is why prog will never be popular again. Playing live is only 50% about the music, it's about the show! People came to SEE you play, not only to hear you play.

Having that said I will give my honest opinion (you all like my honesty): This dvd bore me to death. There wasn't a single moment on which I though: this is a professional band. The band- members all look away (I couldn't see the face of the guitarist) and make no real contact with the public during the songs whatsoever. The songs are played with great precision, all instruments sound good except some keyboard passages, even the vocals are acceptable, but the music still sounded lame. Why not just play behind a curtain? If the neo-prog was based on the work of early Genesis, they might consider what made Genesis a big live act! It was the show, the way the brought their songs to the public, the way the lyrics got a new dimension through honest, intensive performances.

Conclusion. This is by no means a concert of a bad band. They can play there songs for sure, but I didn't believe a word of it. Not even a note. Do these guys like to play music, or were they forced to play the piano by their parents? I wish they had placed hot coals under their feet; it might have got them moving! Two miserable stars. Only buy this if your a fan of the band or the genre. I'm sorry if I have offended some fans, but again: you appreciate my honesty, don't you?

Review by b_olariu
4 stars Impressive DVD issued in 2006 with concert from 2005 from USA and Germany, in fact is a double DVD set from one of the most acomplished neo prog bands ever - IQ. My personaly fav neo prog band btw. Good set list, excellent musicianship and top notch performance, the band is in a very good shape and is clear in every pieces they play. Some absolutly excellent guitar parts and very intelligent keyboards, not to mention that the voice of Peter Nicholls really shine here. Recommended one of the most intresting DVD's from prog rock zone in last decade.4.5 stars for sure.

Latest members reviews

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 t ... (read more)

Report this review (#93000) | Posted by Tailscent | Monday, October 2, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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