IQ, January 16th 1999
De Pul, Uden, The Netherlands
By Ed Sander and Bart Jan van der Vorst 


IQ, January 16th 1999
De Pul, Uden, The Netherlands
By Ed Sander

When I arrived at De Pul (which is located in my hometown Uden) at half past one the band had not yet entered the venue. Most were still in the bus which was parked outside or were wandering around the area. It didn't take long though before the first band and crew members wandered into the venue. The staff of De Pul was amazed by the large crew of 3 lighting/projection technicians (Lol, Oggie and Andy), a sound engineer (Rob) and 3 stage hands (Lee (?), Kala and Mark) which the band had taken along. This would mean that they hardly had to provide any technical help at all that evening.

During the afternoon band and crew set up the equipment for the show while I chatted with the band members. John Jowitt checked out my bass guitar and gave me some basic lessons. I went through a whole lot of pictures of the Subterranea shows with Peter, which he might want to use for a possible tour book. I accompanied Mike and Kala on a quest for a keyboard power supply, which got lost after the gig on the previous evening in Offenbach. We weren't able to find a replacement in the local music store so Mike ended up behind Martin's rig for some of the songs that evening.
After a quick tour along the local record stores in a desperate attempt of Mike to find some obscure House compilation album we went back to the venue where the soundcheck could begin.

After the soundcheck everybody moved to the pizza restaurant next door. Dene Wilby (who maintains the official IQ Web Site) had also arrived with a friend and after helping them out with getting some Dutch cash we joined the band and crew for a pizza. After a slight misunderstanding with the Italian waiter (who didn't understand a word of English), which will go down in history as 'The Peperoni Incident', we headed back to the venue.

A lot of people had already gathered at the door of De Pul and it looked like it would be a sold out show. When the doors were opened and people started pouring in, it quickly became packed inside. No less than 700 tickets had been sold.
I conquered a perfect spot to watch the show: with my back against the bar. There was a small dais at the bar where you could stand on (in a rather uncomfortable position which made every muscle in my body ache the next day). From this position I was able to watch the show over the heads of the audience, take pictures and easily order another beer by just twisting around.

At about 10.10 PM the lights went down and the intro theme of The Simpsons started playing on the backdrop screen. At the point where the Simpson music stopped the band kicked in with Infernal Chorus, complete with Pete in leather mask. Although I like this track a lot I thought it was a rather strange set opener and maybe not the right one to get the crowd enthusiastic immediately.
Mike had some problems with his guitar during the first couple of songs. The band just kept on playing and after some fiddling with the equipment by roadie Mark, our guitar hero was back in the game. The band played very tight, especially considering the fact that (besides the gig on the previous night) they hadn't played for 6 months. There hadn't been much time for rehearsals either. The sound was very good (thanks Rob !) and Peter's vocals were the best I've heard for a while.

The setlist contained a mixture of Subterranea material and 'golden oldies'. For the Subterranea stuff the band used as much film footage as possible (projected on the backdrop) and some of the costumes as well.

Peter announced Breathtaker by saying that people kept on asking what the song was about (which I myself had done only one hour before).

Some of the suprises in the setlist were the return of the beautiful Common Ground on which Pete did a marvellous job, Human Nature and a full-length The Narrow Margin. Leap of Faith ended with the so-called 'dramatic ending' which is used when the track is played on its own. However, the band played the final bit again and this time the song merged into Came Down after all.
After Breathtaker a scene from 'The Wizard of Oz' was shown in which the little girl walks down the yellow brick road with her dog. Immediately after the line 'I have the feeling were not in Kansas anymore' Mike and Martin started the menacing intro to King of Fools. This worked brilliantly ! During King of Fools Pete's spectacled face was projected on the backdrop. King of Fools merged perfectly with Outer Limits, as the band had done during the gigs in the summer of 1998.

At one time a guy (Hans Geervliet) was helped to the microphone by Peter and it turned out to be someone who wanted to propose to his girlfriend. She was helped on stage and accepted the proposal, reacting in loud cheers from the crowd.

Shortly after this I ended up backstage and in the DJ compartment with some of the crew. I can assure you that the mood over there was as good as in the crowd on the other side, with roadies dancing and playing air guitar. Fantastic !

The gig ended with no less than 5 encores. The crowd kept on cheering for more and after the last encore Pete even 'begged' them to go home.

After the show some more small-talk with band and crew followed, some of it serious stuff about the forthcoming show in Tilburg which would be filmed, but as much fun stuff as well, of course accompanied by pleasing quantities of beer.
The personnel of De Pul slowly started urging everybody to get the hell out of the venue so they could close down. I think we were still in there an hour later. ;-)

In the end it was time to say goodbye to the band and go home (only 10 minutes on bike). This was what they call 'a night to remember'.

For more information about IQ, check out The Lush Attic.

 

Headin' Down Under
by Bart Jan van der Vorst 


Driving to the south of Holland and finding your way around in the metropolis of Uden is actually much, much more adventurous than it may sound. Because we had taken a couple of wrong turns on the way, we entered the city from the other side than normally. Therefore it took us at least half an hour and three stops to ask for directions before we finally found De Pul. Fortunately the management of De Pul had decided not to take notice of the 9 o'clock starting time that was printed on our tickets, so we had plenty time for an improvised dinner.

It took ages to get inside once the doors had opened because both the merchandise stand, the cloakroom *and* the bar were just passed the entrance. Finally inside we were treated with a fine selection of prog to get in the mood. There was definitely some DPRP involvement at the DJ.

Because nobody knew at what time the show would start, it was already quite busy near the stage. As the crowd grew impatient the temperature rose to saunasmic heights.
At about 5 past 10 the lights went off and the intro to the Simpson's television series was projected at the backdrop. The band kicked in with Infernal Chorus, and Pete came onstage wearing his black mask. It seemed a bit of a strange opener to me, and the theatrics were a bit out of place without the rest of the Subterranea show

After the next song, The Darkest hour, Pete introduced the next song by telling a story on how he met a man who had escaped from some sort of prison and wondered where he was now. "Well, you're now in Subterranea!"
The original footage from the Subterranea show was projected on the backdrop, and unlike the theatrics of Infernal Chorus, this time the show elements worked out pretty well. Naturally the song merged into Sleepless incidental.
During these three songs Mike had a lot of problems with his guitar amplifier, which for some reason didn't seem to work. It couldn't spoil the mood of any bandmember though, and Pete and John were constantly fooling with Mike, who in his turn kept on pulling funny faces with the audience.

After this little piece of Subterranea it was time for the first of the two Paul Menel songs of the evening, Common Ground. I must admit that I barely listen to the Menel albums, so I didn't really know this song, which is actually beautiful! After the vocal part Pete disappeared off the stage in order to give Mike the full attention for his guitar playing, which was finally audible for the audience.

After the song had finished Pete came back onstage and told us how people often ask him what his songs are about. So he wanted to tell us for a change what the next song, or next two songs actually are about: "And this next song, is about 7 minutes……."

Martin started playing the instrumental Laid low, which of course was followed by Breathtaker. After Breathtaker had finished a piece of a film was shown on the screen. Later on we had discussions whether it was Alice in Wonderland, or The Wizard of Oz. I thought it was the latter, while my friends were convinced that it was Alice. Nonetheless it was about a little girl stuck in a strange world. Mike had just enough time to settle himself next to Martin behind the keyboard stack and together they started playing King of Fools.
Pete's face appeared on the screen, just as it had during this song at the Subterranea shows. Again, the theatrics were a bit out of place because the song had now nothing to do with any story anymore. The song flew into Outer Limits, off The Wake, which proves that the some Subterranea songs can be mixed in a set with other, older songs.

After Outer limits Mike started a guitar riff, which didn't sound like any iQ song I had ever heard before. A new song maybe? Not quite, it was the guitar riff of Human Nature. The band skipped the first part of the song and started at the faster part. Still it was 7 minutes pure enjoyment to which the crowd sang along loudly.

Capricorn and Leap of Faith followed. Leap of Faith ended as it does on the Forever Live album, however immediately after it had finished Paul gave a short drum fill and the last couple of the bars were played again, this time flowing into Came Down. A really weird way of playing, but it was very effective, because you didn't have the time to properly realise what was happening.
The main set ended with the full 20 minutes of the epic The Narrow Margin, which was played with its full theatrics again. For me, it was just singing out loud on top of my lungs (gladly nobody could hear me, because the volume level was extremely high)

The first encore was another Subterranea song, Failsafe, which is a bit of a strange choice for an encore; the song would have worked better in the main set. The band left the stage again, only to come back again a minute later.
Pete pulled a guy up the stage and put him in front of the microphone. "This is Hans, he has an important announcement to make" I expected the guy to be someone from De Pul, who would tell us about a curfew or something (it was a quarter past midnight) and that we had to leave.
To my (and probably everybody's) Hans "only" wanted to propose to his girlfriend. The startled girl got hauled onstage as well, and under a loud cheer of the audience she accepted.
The second encore the band played was yet again a Subterranea song, Unsolid Ground.

When theband left the stage once more the audience went berserk in order to get the band back onstage for yet another encore. It worked! After a few minutes Pete came back onstage and asked: "Do you want one more song?" "Yes?" "I can't hear you!" "Allright, let's do one more song"
To the great enjoyment of the audience they played their classic The Wake.

"Do you want another one?" Pete asked after The Wake had finished. Of course we did.
"Allright then" he said casually.
And the band played the best party-encore that exists, the combination of Out of Nowhere and Abba's Mama Mia. At the crossover from Mama Mia back to Out of Nowhere Mike played a few tones of a Blur song, which resulted in laughs and cheers from both the audience as the other bandmembers. After a few notes he changed to Out of nowhere though.
The band left again, but still the crowd did not give up and the band realised that they had to play another song to satisfy us. And so they came back onstage to play yet another classic, Awake and nervous.

And then it was really over, the band left the stage and the lights went on, and the audience started shuffling towards the exit. There were however still people cheering, and our own Ed Sander from DPRP had climbed behind the DJ's booth and encouraged people to keep on cheering. The lights went off again and the band came back for yet another encore, their fifth!
After the short rhumba/cha cha joke of Came Down the band played the perfect closer for a perfect gig: It all stops here.
When the finished playing and left the stage again Pete thanked us by shouting: "Now… GO HOME!!!"

The concert had lasted almost 2 hours and 50 minutes, which is considered *very* long for a prog concert. An excellent concert, although I must say that many of the Subterranea songs didn't really work well as individual songs. I also think there was too much emphasis on the Subterranea songs. I could have done well without songs like Laid Low, Breathtaker, Capricorn, King of Fools and Unsolid ground, in favour of maybe some songs like The Last human Gateway (middle section would suffice) Falling apart at the seams or Headlong. Not that I don't like those songs, but I think they work so much better within the concept, with the rest of the show.
Apart from that it was a top-concert and I look forward to the April tour, the last chance to see Subterranea live.

 

Setlist:

Theme from the Simpsons (intro tape)
Infernal Chorus
The Darkest Hour
Subterranea
Sleepless Incidental
Common Ground
Laid Low
Breathtaker
- snippet of Wizard of Oz -
King of Fools/Outer Limits
Human Nature
Capricorn
Leap of Faith
Came Down
The Narrow Margin

Failsafe

Unsolid Ground

The Wake
Out of Nowhere/Mamma Mia/Out of Nowhere

Awake and Nervous

Came Down (cha cha cha)
It All Stops Here

 

 

Back to the Concert Reviews Archive

 

© 2003 DPRP