The 5 Best Opening Acts Ever

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 🙂

-LAMA Staff

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