Tag Archives: live

Review of: IQ, live in London, The Marquee, 12 & 13 July 1985

Set 13-07-85: Awake and nervous, Wiggle, The wake, The magic roundabout, The thousand days, Widow’s peak, Outer limits, Corners, Intelligence Quotient, Through the corridors, The enemy smacks, Stomach of animal, Ace of spades, Sweet transvestite.

Ad for IQ gig in Marquee 1985While tens of thousands in Wembley Stadium and millions of people behind their TV sets were witnessing how rock music could change the world, or at least Africa, I was applauding one of my favourite bands in a dark and hot Marquee. On 13 July 1985, the day of Live Aid, IQ rounded off their short UK-tour to promote The Wake, which had just been released. Of Live Aid we knew it was going to be a legendary concert while it was happening. Only later the IQ gig became legendary as well, as the departure of Peter Nicholls was announced shortly afterwards…

In January 1984 I read a short review in the Dutch magazine “Sym Info” about Tales from the lush attic, the first album by IQ. A few days later I bought a copy of the album (no. 1451) in my favourite record shop, and I was immediately impressed by it. Those were the days of Script for a Jester’s Tear and Fact and fiction, there was a positive change in English rock music again, and life was good. For some time, I didn’t hear much about IQ, apart from this rather strange 12″ single Barbell is in. In the spring of 1985 I made plans with a friend of mine to go to London to do some record hunting (which is THE most pleasurable thing to do in life), and checking out the English music papers I found an ad announcing two gigs by IQ in The Marquee. Without any hesitation, we decided to book our trip around the days of those gigs, and ordered tickets at the Marquee. We also found out that a new album was to be released soon. I immediately purchased a copy of The Wake, and with a lot of anticipation I put it on my turntable. My life has never been the same since. It was clear that this was not just another album by some mediocre progrock band. This was a major event. The album had some haunting effects on me, I couldn’t get it out of my mind for weeks on end, and songs like The magic roundabout and Headlong touched me deeply. It turned out to be a long-lived infatuation. It still is my favourite album from the ’80s.

Of the first of those two gigs we went to, I remember four things best: the monstrosity of the supporting act Dagaband, an ELP rip-off; the unbearable heat inside the Marquee (in those days still located at Wardour Street); the disappointment of seeing Peter coming on stage without his make up on; and the tremendous energy of the band. Especially Intelligence Quotient, which I heard for the first time that night, and The last human gateway made quite an impression. But I have to be honest and say that my recollections of that first night are a bit overshadowed by the second night. That gig had already been announced as a special show, as the proceeds were to be donated to Band Aid. Instead of a support act, there was a video screen with footage from Live Aid (if I remember correctly, The Who turned out to be IQ’s support act…). We met some other Dutch guys who had come over especially as well to see IQ, and all the signs were there that it was going to be a special evening. A raffle draw took place prior to the gig, and Tim Esau and Paul Cook came on stage to announce the winners (and make some mocking remarks about Marillion in between). Later, during the gig, Peter Nicholls announced that almost 1800 GBP could be donated to Band Aid on behalf of IQ and their fans.

Martin kicked off the gig with “Awake and nervous”, which made it clear that this was going to be a different set than the night before. To everybody’s surprise, Peter appeared with his make up on this time, and we all realised that this was going to be a night to remember indeed. The Dutchmen present got initiated in this habit of the English to strangely move their bodies while singing “Wiggle”, which was, fortunately, followed by The Wake, a majestic Magic Roundabout, and the catchy The thousand days, which always reminds of Anthony Phillips somehow. As Pete was quite surprised to find out that a few Dutch fans had come to London to see them, he dedicated the next song, Widow’s Peak, to us. After the wonderful instrumental intro, Pete came on again wearing his widow’s outfit, which he never used again (as far as I know) after he rejoined the band in 1990.

After some more songs from The Wake (no Headlong, unfortunately!), Intelligence Quotient (which I happily recognized by now) and Through the corridors, everybody cheered at the opening chords of The enemy smacks. They hadn’t played this song on the entire tour yet. I finally understood the shapes of Peter’s make up. The white on his face was to fit exactly with the white mask he wore halfway the song. Very very impressive, as all those who saw IQ perform this song in the ’90s will admit. The encores were a bit of a shock with a weird Stomach of animal, a terribly loud Ace of Spades (sung by Martin), and a humorous Sweet transvestite, with Pete fully in drag. It contrasted very much with some of the very serious songs from the set, but it was obvious that an IQ gig was supposed to be (and still is) like having a party. So much energy and humour floating about.

In the years that followed I was lucky to see the band in the Netherlands often. Most of those gigs were really great, but nothing can beat those first two gigs I experienced at The Marquee.

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RUSH TEST FOR ECHO TOUR 1996-1997

(Text by my friend Sjef Strik; also published in: Background, Progressive rock magazine, issue 61 (oct./nov. 1997), p. 14.)

Rush started their Test for Echo Tour on 19 October 1996 in Albany. The first leg of this tour ended 15 December in Rutherford. The second leg of the tour started on 7 May 1997 in San Diego.
For me personally it was a wish to see Rush in their home country Canada. So I went with a very close friend to Canada to see the next shows of Rush:

* 28 June, Molson Centre, Montreal
* 30 June, Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto (outdoors)
* 2 July, Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto (outdoors)
* 4 July, Corel Centre in Ottawa (Last show of The Test For Echo Tour!)

The setlist of the second leg of the tour:
Opening Sequence

Dreamline
Limelight
Stick It Out
Driven
Half The World
Red Barchetta
Animate
Limbo (Instrumental)
The Trees
Virtuality
Nobody’s Hero
Closer To The Heart
2112 (Complete!)

After the Break:

Test for Echo
Free Will
Red Sector A
Roll The Bones
Resist
Leave That Thing Alone (Instrumental)
Drum Solo (8 min. and 10 sec.!)
Natural Science
Force Ten
Spirit Of Radio
Tom Sawyer
ENCORE: YYZ => Cygnus X-1 => YYZ

It started for us on Saterday 28 June in Montreal, together with 20,000 other enthusiastic Rush fans. From the moment that the opening sequence “Also Sprach Zarathustra” started and a huge videoscreen showed a giant nut and bolt flying through space, everybody stood up, whistling and shouting… for the entire evening! When the nut was screwed on the bolt, Rush started to play Dreamline and the roof was lifted from Molson Centre! It’s impossible to describe this moment, you must have been there to see, hear and feel what was happening.

After Dreamline Rush continued with Limelight and the crowd went crazy. Every time Alex Lifeson played his guitar solo’s you heared a roaring Molson Centre. After Stick It Out bassplayer/singer Geddy Lee welcomed everybody in The Molson Centre and said that Rush would like to torture us this evening with like, a million songs.

Geddy announced the first Test For Echo song of the evening: Driven. The videoscreen showed us the Driven video. Halfway this song Geddy played a little bass solo, perfectly perceptible on the videoscreen. Most of the time if no clips were being shown, the videoscreen showed us close-ups of the guitarsolo’s of Alex, the first-rate stick throwing of Neil Peart (he missed only once!) and every bass riff played by Geddy.

Neil started to play Red Barchetta with new drumsticks that he replaced after this number for a new pair! For playing The Trees Neil turned his drum kit and Geddy used the Moog for the first time. And after the always beautiful Closer To The Heart, it was time for the last number before the break. The Molson Centre was dark and the videoscreen showed a red men & star getting closer and closer, it reminded me of the opening of The Moving Pictures concert in 1981 in Rotterdam: Rush started to play 2112, this time in its entirety, even with some additional improvisations by Alex during the Discovery section. And it was phenomenal!

Rush went off stage for a short break to get a bloodtransfusion, or at least, that’s what Geddy told us.

Satellite dishes flashed lasers onto the Molson roof while Rush opened the second set with Test For Echo. After the second instrumental of the night (Leave That Thing Alone), it was time for the Professor on the drum kit! Surrounded by a wall of percussion instruments, Neil started his drum solo. It’s incredible what this man can do with it! The beginning and the end of this 8:10 m. drum solo were a delight to see on the videoscreen. Another surprise: Rush played from Permanent Waves the last song of this record, Natural Science. All nine minutes of this masterpiece was played beautifully and two silver globes were standing at each corner of the stage. The effect was similar to a ballroom discoball.

Rush ended the show with two classics that they have played every time on tour: Spirit Of Radio and Tom Sawyer. During Tom Sawyer, crew members staged a dinosaurs puppet show behind Alex’s amplifiers with the sign: “We are not the only dinosaurs around here”.
While YYZ hits the Molson Centre as the last encore a fan of lasers hit the roof. At the end of YYZ a 10 second teaser of Cygnus X-1 was played. In the Corel Centre in Ottawa they showed us via the videoscreen shots of the crew of Rush: this was the way of Rush to thank there wonderful crew.

The shows in Toronto were special, not only because it is their home town, but also because the quality of the sound was superb! The first show was filmed by a professional camera crew with a camera crane and a overhead camera on hand. For their own archives? Let’s hope that Rush will find it good enough to share it with their fans.

Four concerts of Rush in one week: we saw as usual an enthusiastic Rush: the crystal-clear guitar solo’s of Alex Lifeson, the concentrated Neil Peart behind his drum kit and the still superb voice and bass riffs of Geddy Lee. Completed with a spectacular light- and lasershow.

I want to end this review with the last words Geddy said when Rush ended the Test For Echo Tour in Ottawa: “See you next tour”!

Sjef Strik

Photo’s: Geddy taken by Sheri (aka Geddygirl) at Ottawa; all other pictures taken by Sjef at Toronto, 2 July 1997.