The people are coming strong

Herra Ylppö ja Ihmiset (English: Mister Ylppö and People) took to the Main Stage in the middle of Ilosaarirock’s Sunday set. First come the people and begin to play. They are followed by a bald-headed man, dressed in tight black jeans, black sneakers, and black jacket. Kind of like a penguin. Herra Ylppö ja Ihmiset open their act with, what else, Ihmiset tulevat (English: People are coming).

I’ve seen the band twice before, once in Virgin Oil Club in Helsinki and once in the famed Kerubi Club in Joensuu. I’m exhibiting slight symptoms of fandom: I’ve played all of their albums over and over. I’m a little bit scared, to be honest: have I listened and seen the band too much, has it got anything left to give at this point? And how can the band rock me as hard in a festival settings as they do in a small, intimate club?

Not to worry. The people are coming strong. Janne Joutsenniemi on the bass, Joona Kukkola at the keyboard, Hamid Moeini on the guitar ja Jukka Kröger on the drums play together very well, and each has their star moments. Add to that the huge amount of stage charisma that lead singer Herra Ylppö has. He should switch from rock to singing schlagers – not necessarily because of his voice, but because of his emotive renditions. On the other hand, the talented Mr. Ylppö, with his interesting stage choreographies, could also do well in modern dance.

The band plays songs evenly from all of their three albums. There’s pop, rock and even a few tender ballads. Pretty well-known songs all around – but then again, I know each song by heart. The crowd of mainly young women is getting more and more into it: during Riisu siipesi, fists are flying, while the more somber Mies murtuu morphs the audience into a waving sea of hands, and Rautavaara has the girls jumping nonstop.

Although a festival gig doesn’t lend itself to the same type of intimacy as a club, the feeling is still high, and the audience makes plenty of noise. The girls in the front row get an up close and personal show, with the singer jumping down from the stage. “Ilosaari is a big house party”, Herra Ylppö states in one of the song intros. It sure feels like a house party, one that’s topped by a man decked in a horse head mask sprinting to the stage during Mustat hevoset (English: Black horses). I don’t know what to make of the masked mascot partying on top of a speaker set, during a romantic pop piece. Weird? Great? At the very least, absurd.

Even though I don’t hear my own favorite, Paula puree, the encore wipes the slight dismay away. The encore actually wipeas away everything in my mind, so raw and basic is the band’s last song, the punk-rock hit Turpa kii ja nussi (English: Shut up and fuck) by Finnish 80′s punk icon, Lama. What can you add to that?

Text: Sini Heinoja
Photo: Tuukka Pakarinen
Translation: Jaakko Suvanto

Aihe(et): In English.