There may never be a Finnish metal band as renowned as operatic festival veterans Nightwish. But a close second might be Children of Bodom, whose virtuosic frontman Alexi Laiho passed away earlier this year at the age of 41. Now, the former band have paid tribute to their friend and countryman onstage at their Oslo show.
For those who don’t remember, Laiho died in January, with his cause of death being listed as ‘alcohol-induced degeneration of the liver and pancreas connective tissue.’ While Alexi’s death was sad and senseless, it was unsurprising to both fans and friends alike, who knew Alexi as one of metal’s most hardcore party animals.
Nightwish took a moment during their performance of “The Greatest Show On Earth” in Oslo to display Laiho’s picture prominently on the screens behind the band. As reported by Metal Hammer, Laiho was not only a fellow Finnish metalhead, he was also a personal friend of keyboard player Tuomas Holopainen.
“Yeah, we were really close about 10 of 15 years ago,” Holopainen told the magazine. “We hung out a lot. I went to his place, he came to my place in Kitee…We shared a love of music, and also Donald Duck and board games – innocent, child-like things.
“We knew he was going through some troubles with his physical health, but when I got the phone call, I remember falling on my knees – like, ‘no way,'” continued Tuomas. “It punched me big time. I really miss him. He was a wonderful personality. There was an innocence in him, a naivety when it came to music that I really respected.”
Check out Nightwish’s tribute below:
North American fans can catch Nightwish at one of the upcoming dates:
5/4 – Toronto History, ON
5/6 – Montreal Mtelus, QC
5/7 – Lowell Tsongas Arena, MA
5/8 – New York Terminal 5, NY
5/10 – Silver Spring The Fillmore, MD
5/12 – Chicago Radius, IL
5/13 – St. Paul, The Fillmore, MN
5/15 – Denver Mission Ballroom, CO
5/18 – San Francisco The Warfield, CA
5/20 – Los Angeles The Wiltern, CA
5/21 – Los Angeles The Wiltern, CA
Words by Chris Krovatin