Iļģi concert, streamed from Rīga, focuses on Midsummer

I watched a wonderful concert live over the Internet today. The post-folklore band Iļģi introduced its latest album, Isākās nakts dziesmas, with a set of both old and new material in Rīga’s Club Essential.

The concert, focused on the upcoming Midsummer celebration, was one of two performed June 7 by the band.

The first four songs were old ones from previous albums or concerts, including an updated “Seju vēju,” off the band’s 2000 album of the same name, and “Šķērsu dienu saule teka” from Kaza kāpa debesīs (2003).

Only on the fifth song, with lead singer Ilga Reizniece donning a crown of flowers, did the band turn to its newest album. One of my favorites, “Sit, Jānīti, vara bungas,” was first. “Visu gadu Jānīts nāca” came next, followed by “Visu gadu Jānīts jāja,” the first and second tracks on the album. The band finished up its new material with “Visi ziedi izziedēja” and “Saule brida miglājosi.”

Iļģi then reached back a decade for “Kalnā kāpu skatīties,” which appears on the band’s 1998 album Saules meita. “Kas varēja grožus vīt,” the first track on Sēju vēju, sounded as good as ever.

Another favorite song, “Šķiraties(i), zosu pulki,” from the band’s wedding-themed Ne uz vienu dienu (2006) came next, although the live version lacked the spunk of the recording. In preparation for the dance party that was to follow the concert, Iļģi then played “Valsis uguns gaismā,” a waltz off the instrumental Ej tu dejot, released last year. After another instrumental, Iļģi closed out the concert with “Tumsa tumsa kas par tumsu,” the final track on Sēju vēju.

Opening for Iļģi was the Rīga-based women’s folk ensemble Laiksne. The group performed a half-hour cycle of songs leading up to a Jāņi celebration. On stage with Laiksne was Gatis Gaujenieks of Iļģi, who accompanied the singers with his bass.

Thanks to recording company Platforma Music and its sponsors for providing the streaming video. I’m happy the Flash-powered connection held up for the entire concert. In full-screen mode, the picture quality wasn’t the greatest, but should I complain for getting to watch one of Latvia’s best bands for free?

The stream continued for the dance party, with the aerobic “Pankūkas” starting off the set. Members of Rīgas Daņcu klubs helped lead the event. Others dances included “Vidzemes žīga,” “Dirižablis” and “Cūkas griķos,” among several more.

Laiksne on stage at Club Essential

The folk ensemble Laiksne performs as the warm-up act for the June 7 concert, which was streamed live over the Internet from the Club Essential in Rīga.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

One thought on “Iļģi concert, streamed from Rīga, focuses on Midsummer

  1. The venue was a tad shady (sticky floors, smoke machines and light-show backdrops), but the concert really was excellent! I applaud both groups for pulling two concerts in a row – and without a hitch at that!

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