IQ – IQ20 – The Twentieth Anniversary Show – 2004

The legendary british band IQ celebrates its twentieth anniversary –time flies- rolling out the red carpet releasing a luxurious double DVD that delights all progheads. And I´m not only talking about neo progressive because the names of bands like IQ, Pendragon or Marillion are written in golden letters in progressive rock history. And they´ve influenced hundreds of bands that have repeated time after time all those parameters discrediting the genre.

I consider John Jowitt (bass), Martin Orford (keyboards), Paul Cook (drums), Peter Nicholls(vocals), and Michael Holmes (guitars) as if they were relatives or lovely neighbors. Those who have been born in the early 70´s and are into progressive rock lots of years, remember how we exchange cassettes (I´m talking about Spain –progressive 3rd world- and about 80´s decade). So my generation has grown up with IQ just like my father´s grow up with Jethro Tull, Camel or Yes. To finish this “revival” I´d like to thank Alvaro Morales Arce for those cassettes of Pallas, IQ andPendragon –I still own them- that he gave me many years ago. Sorry for all this chat, but tomorrow it´s my 32nd birthday and I can´t avoid it.

This double DVD, released under digipack format with timeline included (I don´t understand why the timeline stops in 2001 when the DVD is released in 2004) contains almost four hours of material. One DVD has the 20th Anniversary concert at “The Mean Fiddler” (London) on 15.12.01, and the second disk contains lots of extra material and curiosities.

The anniversary show is impressive, with an amazing display of technical features, lights and stage filming. Maybe it´s not as spectacular as other tours, but it´s really good. As you can imagine IQ takes stock of its whole career, but in no chronological order. Also it´s not a thorough check, but I think “Are you sitting comfortably?”´s material will not be missed. In any case the pain is alleviated with great revisions of “The Last Human Gateway” (complete), “The Narrow Margin” or “Headlong”. The band has a good time on stage and there is a lot of fun.

DVD 2 contains four encores, two Christmas songs plus “Subterranea” and “The Wake”, three tracks by The Lens played in a very funny way, all intros and outro’s used along the band´s career, a photo gallery, a crazy cover of Aba´s “Mamma Mia”, a tour documentary (more than 80 minutes), and the medley “State of Mine/Leap of Faith/Came Down” included at DVD 1 but this time with the camera focusing on Paul Cook.

I know that neo-progressive genre is not everybody´s cup of tea, but as I stated IQ is a classic progressive bands. So you must buy and enjoy this DVD.