By Carl Begai
On September 28th, 2012 in Denver, Colorado fans of Finnish bashers Nightwish witnessed something special at the Ogden Theater. So special, in fact, that if everyone who claims they attended the show was actually there the venue would have literally burst at the seams.
To recap, now ex-Nightwish vocalist Anette Olzon fell seriously ill prior to the show and was hospitalized. Her bandmates had the difficult task of choosing between cancelling the gig and going ahead with support band Kamelot’s backing vocalists Elize Ryd (Amaranthe) and Alissa White-Gluz (The Agonist) in Olzon’s place. With the audience’s blessing they chose the latter, resulting an unforgettable and historic show. Elize, Alissa and Nightwish were applauded for their efforts by seemingly everyone except Olzon, who made her rather ungrateful opinions known the next day via an online post. A few days later – October 1st, 2012 – Olzon was officially given the boot and the tour continued with ReVamp / ex-After Forever singer Floor Jansen fronting the band.
During a BW&BK interview (found here) for Amaranthe’s new album, The Nexus, Elize discussed the unexpected once in a lifetime experience. Note that we kept any behind-the-scenes dirt regarding the disintegration between Nightwish and Anette out of the conversation, so if you’re a tabloid drama junkie you’ll be disappointed by what you’re about to read.
“It was a very special thing,” Elize says of the night. “I love Nightwish and I’ve sung their songs many times for myself (laughs). When you’re on tour you’re in a little bubble, so you don’t really think too much about what’s happening outside that bubble. They asked me if I would be willing to sing for them that night, and we decided that if the audience agreed it was okay for them that I sing, of course I was going to help Nightwish out so they could do the show. At least with some singing so they wouldn’t have to do it all instrumental.”
“It was a little bit like a dream come true for me because I always wanted to sing for Nightwish (laughs). I did audition for them years ago, so to actually be on stage with them was great. And the response from the crowd really helped. I was almost crying on stage because the people were so supportive.”
Keeping in mind that Elize and Alissa had almost no time to prepare for the show, they hit the stage for ‘Storytime’ with lyric sheets in hand. Over the course of the night Elize returned to the sheets of paper as required to help her along. Sure, there were some minor gaffs over the course of the gig, but from a purely personal point of view it was a ballsy move for Elize to even attempt the show, never mind read the lyrics. She deserves huge respect for her performance, and judging by fan reactions online I’m not alone in my thinking.
“That was odd,” Elize admits with regards to reading the lyrics. “I don’t think that’s ever happened before (laughs). It was really cool, though.”
“The day after the show was very weird because I saw posts in the Finnish newspapers and all over the internet, and all the comments on YouTube. I was kind of surprised by just how many positive reactions there were. The crowd could have booed me and thrown stuff at me, but it was a very magical atmosphere that night. I didn’t have much time to think about it. I just went and did it. I like that in general, to take opportunities and just do stuff without thinking too much about it.”
Check out footage from the Denver show via the links below:
Go to this location for my rant against Olzon’s attitude and my opinion on her firing from Nightwish.
Photos by Carl Begai. All rights reserved.