Search Results for: ExploreMusic


The Growing Status of the Opening Act

Yes, this actually happened. Toto with guests the Ramones, January 29, 1979, in Lake Charles LA.

Back in the day, the pairing of the opening act on a tour would be the decision of the promoter or the result of some kind of deal with the label, often with weird outcomes.

For example, Jimi Hendrix once warmed up the crowd for the Monkees back in 1967.  I remember seeing a rockabilly band called The Shakin’ Pyramids forced to stand before a Van Halen audience.  The Beastie Boys pissed off many when they opened for Madonna in 1985.  And what about that Ramones/Toto bill in 1979?

In each case, the opening had to deal with hostile, indifferent and sometimes non-existent audiences.

But things have changed.  Increasingly, the headliner is hand-picking who will open for them on a tour and encouraging fans to get to the gig on time to see the support act.  This has helped to immensely increase the status of the opener.  From the Wall Street Journal:

Read More