Week five of the Whisky Rocks showdown! This week I’m talking about why we gotta stop ignoring the opening act and show up! And I’m not only talking to potential fans but the groupies too (you know who you are gents and ladies). Check out what I have to say this week.
It’s easy to consider the time an opening act is performing as the pre-concert phase. You often don’t know, or even care, who the band is, so you treat them like elevator music wafting in the background while you check your coat, get drinks, use the washroom and wait for your girls outside of the venue.
I’ve been guilty of that many times, especially since I go to concerts so often now ─ there was even a time when I was so dismissive of the opening act that I’d find myself leaving my apartment as the opening act was scheduled to take the stage. But recently I’ve decided to make an effort to show up because the show really does begin with them. Let me break down their importance for you.
First, you get more for your money. Would you pay for a four course meal and only show up for the final two courses? No. Why? Because you would feel like you hadn’t gotten your money’s worth. So, in an effort not to be wasteful, when I pay for something now I want the whole enchilada, baby.
Second. The opening act often provides a fluid transition into the energy and anticipation of a concert. The loud music, the finding your spot, the lights just bright enough for you to look around and see the other fans eagerly waiting beside you, it all adds to the excitement of seeing the performer you paid for tickets to see. Kind of like concert foreplay.
Third. I find that artists and bands that I enjoy often select opening act bands that I too will enjoy. And though I hate the, “I was listening to this band before anyone had even heard of them” mindset—it’s so delusional, I’ve seen many great unknown artists first as an opening-act that then went on to tremendous success—it is fascinating to look back and see that growth, and often, even in those early days you can feel that they have what it takes to make it big and you can smugly pat yourself on the back for recognizing that before they had a stylist. Furthermore, sometimes they blow up so huge that you can barely afford their concerts, but at least you can say, “I saw them before they were famous.”
Finally, as an egalitarian, I’m not just talking to potential die-hard fans who will be grateful to discover a new incredible performer or band, but the amorous ones as well, or as we commonly call them, the groupies (of the male and female varieties). I say to you, get ‘em while they’re new! While their Almost-Famous-fresh. By the time they’re really famous, the guards get bigger and the competition gets stiffer (no pun intended). And no one likes picked over rock stars, do we ladies and gentlemen?
Hopefully, I’ve inspired at least one person out there to take opening bands seriously. Show up! It’s worth it.