Concert Review: Nightwish at Ogden Theatre

by Jimmy Aaron

When I arrived at the Ogden Theatre, I wasn’t expecting that night’s concert to change the makeup of the symphonic metal and European music scenes like it did. The events that transpired during Nightwish’s September 28th show led to the removal of their lead singer Anette Olzon, their second lead singer in the past two years.

The first noticeable ripple was the absence of Anette Olson. Nightwish manager Troy Donockley and the band’s founder, keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen, came on stage to announce she had been rushed to the hospital with stomach flu. The band offered the audience two options: cancel the show and provide full ticket refunds, or have Kamelot female backing vocalists Elize Ryd and Alissa White-Gluz to fill in for Anette.

The audience chose the latter, and Anette was not happy.

Anette made a scathing post on her blog, making the claim that the band should have gone ahead and cancelled the show. This reaction was interpreted by the band as the kind of pretentiousness that led to the removal of Nightwish’s original vocalist Tarja Turunen.

On October 1st, Anette and Nightwish announced they had parted ways in an official press release. Nightwish finished the Imaginaerum World Tour with Dutch vocalist Floor Jansen of After Forever fame.

While the aftermath of the Ogden concert shook the foundations of the symphonic metal genre, the concert itself was groundbreaking in its own regard. We were treated to a performance nobody else would be able to experience. Although Elize and Alissa began singing the lyrics to “Amaranth” over “I Wish I Had an Angel” and had their noses buried in lyrics packets, the fresh take on Nightwish classics were well received. The audience actively supported them by singing along to every song; some songs became karaoke sessions when Elize and Alissa were unable to keep up with unfamiliar songs.

Although Anette might not think so, I consider the Ogden concert a success. It was special in that I, along with other concertgoers, participated in the making of history: the end of another Nightwish era, and an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind performance from Elize and Alissa.

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