Lapko Brought the Love

Take that, weather forecasts and naysayers! No rain this Saturday, or at least this hour! There was only sunshine and smiles in and around the YleX tent as the trio known as Lapko took on the responsibility and honor of opening the stage at this year’s festival.

The group’s unique blend of progressive and lyrical rock constantly drew more people in and what was only a small group of enthusiasts at the beginning of the set had grown into a full-blown audience by the 20 minute mark. Ville Malja, the group’s vocalist, guitarist and Jagger-like swag master, promised the audience to deliver at a rate of 105% and, sure enough, that is exactly what Lapko did. The songs flowed into the next effortlessly and the feeling the band was trying to get across spread through the entire audience.

The trio, also containing drummer Janne Heikkonen and bass player Anssi Nordberg, has been playing together since 1996 and it shows in a big way. They gel together so well that watching them on stage is simply a pleasure. There were times when you could hear echoes of Rush in their three-man wall of sound. The twang in Mr Malja’s clear, high-flying voice also bears some resemblance to that of the great Geddy Lee. Never a bad thing!

Lapko was the perfect opener for the YleX stage. They served the audience a dish so engaging and rich that the following acts are going to have to work their asses off if they intend to top it. In other words, Lapko did everything a first performer should do, and they did it with experience, finesse and dazzle. Well done and thank you! Now, let’s keep this momentum going! Ilosaarirock on!

Text: Jyrki Laitinen
Photo: Terhi Hytönen

Aihe(et): In English.