IQ are founding members of the neo-progressive rock movement that began in the early '80s as a continuation of the progressive-rock style that was born out of bands like Yes, Genesis, and King Crimson in the late '60s. Along with fellow British neo-proggers Marillion and Pendragon, IQ continues to tour and record great new music for their devoted fans to this day, and they have just released one the best albums of their long career with Frequency.
Live In Holland 2007 is a bonus DVD that was included with the enhanced, limited edition, of Frequency, and it features a performance that was recorded at De Boerderij in Zoetermeer, the Netherlands on December 1st, 2007. IQ has released several other live concert videos over the last two decades, but most of them are very hard to come by these days. That is what really makes Live In Holland such a great bonus.
Although I have been a big prog-rock fan for some time now, this new CD/DVD from IQ is my first proper introduction to this distinguished purveyor of the genre. The DVD makes for an excellent overview and introduction to this band.
The setlist spans IQ's entire career, taking you all the way back to their 1983 debut album, Seven Stories Into Eight, with "It All Stops Here," and all the way up to the new Frequency CD, with "Crashed And Burned," and the title track. "Crashed And Burned" was eventually renamed "Stronger Than Friction" in time for the CD release.
I was surprised to see two of the new Frequency tracks performed at this 2007 concert, considering that the CD was just released this summer. Their previous album, Dark Matter, was released in 2004, so they had almost five years to work on new material. They must have started early.
Although there are only 12 songs performed, the concert was just over two hours long. Six of the twelve songs are over ten minutes in length, and the epic Dark Matter CD track, "Harvest of Souls," clocks in at almost 25 minutes. "Harvest" was definitely one of the highlights of the show, as it features everything a good neo-prog epic should; a shout-out to Genesis' "Suppers Ready," a dash of Yes' "Close To The Edge," and all topped off with a modern dash of Dream Theater-like heaviness.
Two tracks from the 1998 Subterranea, which many consider to be the band's finest hour, and two more from their 2001 follow up, The Seventh House, are highlights as well. Long time fans will also be pleased to see "The Magic Roundabout," from the band's1985 album, The Wake, which is considered by the majority of fans to be their most essential '80s album.
The De Boerderij is a fairly small club with a capacity of about 750 people, so the show was very up close and intimate. Three large video screens flanked the back of the stage and alternated between dreamy imagery and a variety of album cover artwork. The light show provided the perfect compliment to the band's music.
The overall production quality of this DVD was quite good. I was a bit disappointed that the only audio option was a Dolby 2.0 Stereo track (what do you want for free?), but it still sounded excellent. The video quality was hit or miss depending on which camera angle was shown. Most of the close-up shots were very clear and sharp, but some of the longer shots showing the entire stage were quite soft and blurry. For some reason, the two encore songs that were performed were included as a bonus feature instead of just putting them in the main feature. Didn't make a whole lot of sense.
IQ's Frequency CD is well worth the asking price all on it's own, but with this superb bonus DVD also included, it becomes a must-buy for any casual fan of the band or the neo-prog genre in general.
01. Awake And Nervous
02. You Never Will
04. The Magic Roundabout
05. Harvest Of Souls
06. Sleepless Incidental
07. Crashed And Burned (Stronger Than Friction)
08. The Seventh House
09. It All Stops Here
10. Guiding Light
11. The Darkest Hour
Performance – 8/10
Production – 7/10