IQ – Colos-Saal, Aschaffenburg, D – 2010-01-30

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In spite of snow storms, massively delayed train schedules and ice covered highways, the Colos-Saal in Aschaffenburg was packed with fans as IQ took the stage on Saturday january 30.

The audience got rewarded for their adventurous trips with a unique setlist and a band in great form and mood.

For fan Gill from the UK it was an even more rewarding experience, as singer Peter Nicholls invited her on stage to give her a special commemorative t-shirt, celebrating her 150th IQ show. Thumbs up for both Gill and the band for such a nice gesture.

Compared to recent Frequency shows (most recently Wath on january 16) the setlist was full of surprises. IQ opened the show with The Darkest Hour – a much more effective opener than Frequency in direct comparison.

Consequently the Colos-Saal started partying right from the first minute of the show. And partying was clearly IQ’s focus that night, as they added mostly straightforward rocking songs from their rich repertoire to the set.

To keep the party going, they treated Aschaffenburg with the heavily riffing Out Of Nowhere and a 20 minute medley consisting of older rock-away classics. Medleys are a no-go for some, as they too often kill off every natural dramaturgy, when well thought out arrangements get chopped to pieces without mercy.

Not so with IQ. They invited their audience to a wild but musically surprisingly coherent ride from Subterranea via Unsolid Ground and Sold On You straight to Awake And Nervous.

To live up to their reputation of playing bizarre cover versions, IQ threw in Status Quo’s Caroline for good, and crafted it into Awake And Nervous.

Of course the set also contained a lot of tracks from the band’s latest album Frequency, 5 in total. While the title track got an enthusiastic response as usual, Life Support had the ladies waving sparklers above their heads. The less romantic folk took the opportunity to stroll to the bar for a drink or two.

Stronger Than Friction had the spotlight on John Jowitt, grooving away on the back of his extremely tight but laid back bass lines. Further surprises on the setlist were Nothing At All (decorated with a couple of lines from War Heroes) and The Seventh House, which replaced the often played Guiding Light from the same album.

But IQ wouldn’t be IQ without a couple of very long tracks. The 20 minute epic The Narrow Margin pleased a lot of fans of their 1997 album Subterranea.

More recent tracks like Ryker Skies and Stronger Than Friction each offered a suspenseful dramaturgical arc, and gave guitar player Mike Holmes lots of opportunities to deliver his trademark haunting guitar solos.

An enthusiastic audience simply didn’t want IQ to leave the building even after more than 2 hours, and loudly demanded for more. After Peter Nicholls‘ announcement that the band would now play the double album Subterranea in its entirety of course turned out to be only a cruel joke, IQ came back on stage for a last encore.

As a dessert to a very varied main course, they treated the cheering Aschaffenburg crowd with the freaky prog-funk-stomper Stomach of Animal and subsequently The Last Human Gateway’s Middle Section to cool everybody down.

In the end 2 and a half hours seemed to have passed in the blink of an eye, as people left the Colos-Saal with happy smiles on their faces, back into the German winter.

SUMMARY: Great to see (and hear) that IQ have decided to break up the routine of their usual Frequency tour setlists even more.

Aschaffenburg got a couple of unexpected tracks and overall a nicely varied setlist, with a focus on “rockin’ out” (as they say). Apparently the new IQ lineup (2 changes during the production of Frequency) now feels safe enough to dare going on a couple of adventures on-stage again.

BY THE WAY: In case you haven’t noticed yet: Highly unusual for IQ, not a single track from the classic 1985 album The Wake was played. This is even more surprising as this year of course marks the album’s 25th anniversary.

The internet offers a couple of rumours on this: People speculate about a special re-release as well as a couple of dedicated The Wake shows. It’s probably a good idea to keep an eye on IQ’s website and the corresponding forum. Visiting from time to time won’t hurt either.

Review: Christian Lesske & Björn Kahlenberg – Photos: Christian Lesske

S E T L I S T :

01. The Darkest Hour
02. Frequency
03. Out Of Nowhere
04. Life Support
05. Stronger Than Friction
06. The Narrow Margin
07. War Heroes (Intro) / Nothing At All
08. Ryker Skies
09. Sacred Sound
10. Closer
11. The Seventh House
12. Medley

    a) Subterranea
    b) Unsolid Ground
    c) Sold On You
    d) Awake And Nervous (Part 1)
    e) Caroline (Status Quo cover)
    f) Awake And Nervous (Part 2)

13. Stomach Of Animal
14. The Last Human Gateway (Middle Section)

Posted by Bjoern   @   30 Januar 2010


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Feb 3, 2010
9:23 PM
#1 Petter Larsson :

Thanks for a fantastic show. Thanks for another pleasant concertexperience in Germany. Open Air in Lorelei 2007 and now Aschaffenburg. The Seventh House must be the highlight or the century!!!

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