Do you “keep it Bill Murray?” Sweatshop Union certainly does!
You got your hands on front row concert tickets. You have your $10+ beer. You have your specially designed ear plugs to withstand the loud noise. You are ready to be blown away and then the opening band comes on. And stays on. And keeps playing and playing and playing. If you haven’t had something like this happen to you – you probably don’t go to many concerts! Opening bands have garnered the reputation of killing the mood of many a concert. However – every blue moon you see an opening act so incredible and so amazing that at times they are even better than the headliner. Recently Ranker, a website that ranks things of all shapes and sizes asked their community to to vote on the best opening acts they had ever seen. Let’s take a look at their Top 5 in descending order:
5. Weezer Opening For No Doubt
No Doubt in itself would be a great night of music – but add in the Blue Album boys!? It turns into an epic night. The band opened for No Doubt in the Spring and Summer of 1997 which was an interesting time for both bands. No Doubt was riding high on the chart-topping success of “Tragic Kingdom” while Weezer had released the now legendary “Pinkerton” record which at the time left their fans confused and unsure but now has legendary status. We wish we would have been smart enough to see this show!
4. Alice In Chains Opening For Van Halen
This is an ironic one because Van Halen infamously opened for Ted Nugent in the 70s and blew him away! Looks like Van Halen got a taste of their own medicine by letting these grunge icons warm up the crowd in 1991 during the “Van Hagar” era. Rumor has it that Van Halen would purposefully pick lackluster bands so that by the time Van Halen took the stage the crowd would be extra excited. Don’t pick Alice In Chains for this task.
3. Pixies Opening For U2
The Pixies are generally known as a band that got more popular 10 years after they broke up than they were at their prime. Leave it to U2 to be aware of new and cutting edge music to allow them to offer their opening slot to The Pixies on the Zoo TV tour. While audiences probably didn’t appreciate the quartet from Boston — these same fans are now kicking themselves that they didn’t get there early to hear The Pixies at their best! Although they did break up soon after this tour so maybe it wasn’t meant to be…
2. Foo Fighters Opening For Red Hot Chilli Peppers
What seems like decades ago, the Foo Fighters opened for Red Hot Chilli Peppers on their Californication tour. Um… wow! Two alternative rock legends sharing the same stage? If you were a fan of Alt-Rock you pretty much just needed to see this show and you were good for the year. We even remember the foreshadowing as we watch both of these acts grace the same stage at the Tibetan Freedom Concert in San Francisco — in 1996!
1. Jimi Hendrix Opening For The Monkees
This is the grandaddy of all opening act stories. We have heard this story in so many incarnations and so long we just wish video existed of the event. 60s Teen Pop sensation The Monkees were reportedly huge Jimi Hendrix fans. Yes, THE Jimi Hendrix. They were such big fans that they asked him to open up for them. Lets just say their fan base wasn’t ready for what came next. A cacophony of sound and vision and – just utter amazingness. There were boos, walkouts, and angry parents! We can’t even imagine what that would have been like to witness.
So what is the moral of the story concert fans? It is probably worth it to put up with hundreds of bad opening acts just for the chance to see one that blows you away. The easiest way to deal with a bad opening act is to bring your earplugs or to go out and get a beverage of choice in the lobby. Musicians! Use it as an opportunity to learn, what are they doing RIGHT, what are they doing WRONG! Critiquing leads to learning. And if you see a Jimi Hendrix opening for you don’t be on the wrong side of history and boo him! Always keep an open mind 🙂
We know, we know, you love your iPods, flash drives, and MP3s. However – there used to be a simpler time when you would walk down to your local record store and pick out the newest CD, LP, or cassette tape. It is hard to believe just about 10 years ago we were paying full retail price for CDs at the local Tower Records. Now there isn’t even a Tower Records to visit! However, there are tons of local independent record stores still carrying on the tradition of selling physical format products.
The original idea for Record Store Day was conceived by Chris Brown, and was founded in 2007 by Eric Levin, Michael Kurtz, Carrie Colliton, Amy Dorfman, Don Van Cleave and Brian Poehner as a celebration of the unique culture surrounding over 700 independently owned record stores in the USA, and hundreds of similar stores internationally. Thousands of bands and labels have started participating and now print up special exclusive “Record Store Day” merchandise that is often free just by showing up to the store! If you want to see the best offerings from last year check out this Rolling Stone pictorial here.
LAMA students! These fine Pasadena stores below will be participating on April 21st! Get there early and get your gear and for more info go to the official Record Store Day website.
|Canterbury Records||1.8 mi.||Pasadena, CA||VISIT WEBSITE|
|Permanent Records LA||2.2 mi.||Los Angeles, CA||VISIT WEBSITE|
|Penny Lane Records||2.8 mi.||Pasadena, CA||VISIT WEBSITE|
|A Dark Philosophy Records||3.7 mi.||Los Angeles, CA||VISIT WEBSITE|
|Poobah Records||3.9 mi.||Pasadena, CA|
Warm weather, trips to the beach, hiking outdoors… While summer is a the time for all those things, it’s a great opportunity to polish your musical chops. Prestigious music schools and colleges often offer summer music programs and camps that are open to musicians of all ages and skill levels. Music schools also have more advanced programs for experienced musicians. For the beginner it can be a great way to mingle with music royalty — while at the same time, you’ll get a taste of what day to day life is like at a music college. For the experienced student, a Summer music program can keep you fresh! Nothing would be worse than forgetting what you learned because of too much fun in the sun!
At LA Music Academy’s Summer Program, students write an original song, play in Ensemble Workshops, record, see their instructors performing daily, and much more. As with all programs at the Academy, the small, friendly environment and personal attention combined with daily playing/singing gives the student the most focused style-specific musical training possible in one week. LAMA is currently taking admission submissions now so what are you waiting for? Sign up here .
Guitarists and bassists must possess basic tablature reading skills. Placement evaluations will be held after orientation on the first day. Most students are teens and adults, but children as young as 9 are welcome.
Look for the info about summer music camps on music college websites, like LA Music Academy’s Third Annual Drummers Reality Camp. You may remember the DRC camp from the first two years, which featured some of the top drummers in the world. Taking place June 27th-30th, 2012 #DRC is brought to you by Drum Channel, Guitar Center, and LA Music Academy College of Music. Here you’ll have a chance to hang with and learn from the best drummers on the planet! The 2012 lineup includes Neil Peart, Doane Perry, Jim Keltner, Gil Sharone, Marco Minneman, Ralph Humphrey, Joe Porcaro, Tony Inzalaco, Gary Ferguson, and Uli Frost!
Just because admission requirements for the camp are open to more people doesn’t mean experienced musicians shouldn’t take part as well. In fact some of LAMA’s best students will be sitting front row – who wouldn’t want to hear awesome stories and insight from Rush’s Neil Peart?! For more info on DRC visit the official website. We’ll see you in June!
SO! Don’t fall prey to the summer slack off that some musicians do. You don’t have to ditch the beach and relaxation, but keep sharp and sign up for a summer music experience of some kind!
A picture is worth a thousand words: