Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen Bands/Musicians
Vote List
2,417 votes 372 voters 38,141 views by  more info

Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen

List Criteria: Only opening acts who have gone on to stardom

What are the best opening acts you've ever seen? These are the bands and musicians that blew you away, making you a fan for life, even though they were only the opening act for some bigger, more well-known headliner. Almost everyone who's been to tons of concerts has seen one or two acts that truly stood out (in some cases, eclipsing the headline act).

Whether it's Kings of Leon (who opened, notably, for U2 several years ago) or the Foo Fighters ( who opened for the Red Hot Chili Peppers), this list includes them all. Or it will: Add the opening acts that you think were the best you've ever seen, so all of us can go "Huh, really? Didn't know they were ever an opener..."

Some of the biggest names in music today have, at one time or another, opened for someone else. Curious? Check out this list of the strangest opening act bookings in music history. See? Even Prince made it: He opened, just once, for The Rolling Stones. Jimi Hendrix opened for The Monkees?!

Makes you want to pay closer attention and arrive earlier for that next big concert, doesn't it? Exactly. Because while headline acts don't ever want to be bested by their openers, they also want the opening acts to warm the audience up properly and get them into a festive mood.

Hopefully everyone will contribute some of their favorite opening concert acts to this list. Don't be shy: Jump on in! This list includes all music -- rock, folk, country, R&B, rap, you name it.
</> Rerank List
  1. 18
    Up 46
    Down 44
    Experimental rock, Grunge, Noise More
    added by: Roger Stenson
    Opened for U2
  2. 12
    Up 35
    Down 28
    Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog More
    added by: MichaelCarter
    Opened for R.E.M. and Alanis Morrissette
  3. 6
    Up 35
    Down 18
    Rock music, Grunge, Post-grunge More
    added by: clash1977
    Opened for U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers
  4. 11
    Up 18
    Down 9
    Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    added by: RayJewhurst
    Opened for Kiss
  5. 36
    Up 19
    Down 26
    Rock music, Experimental rock, Neo-psychedelia More
    added by: jxfine1981
    opened for Nine Inch Nails
  6. 23
    Up 26
    Down 24
    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    added by: ANKOU
    Opened for Blue Oyster Cult
  7. 3
    Up 85
    Down 48
    Rock music, Grunge, Post-grunge More
    added by: Robby Benton
    Opened for the Red Hot Chili Peppers
  8. 26
    Up 33
    Down 33
    Pop punk, New Wave, Pop music More
    added by: Samantha Dillinger
    Opened for The Police
  9. 38
    Up 18
    Down 25
    Glam metal, Progressive metal, Power metal More
    added by: Randolph
    Opened for Guns N Roses
  10. 21
    Up 4
    Down 1
    Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music More
    added by: LibertysArmy
  11. 40
    Up 9
    Down 14
    Country pop, Pop music, Rock music More
    added by: gurleenkaur1310
  12. 1
    Up 83
    Down 27
    Blues-rock, Psychedelic soul, Rock music More
    added by: Justmax360
    Opened for The Monkees
  13. 17
    Up 47
    Down 45
    Space rock, Rock music, Electronic music More
    Opened for U2
  14. 20
    Up 30
    Down 28
    Rock music, Britpop, Alternative rock More
    added by: KirkSaw
    Opened for Neil Young
  15. 37
    Up 6
    Down 9
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk More
    Opened for Neil Young 
  16. 41
    Up 23
    Down 33
    Rock music, Alternative country, Indie rock More
    added by: Kyle Townsend
    Opened for the Avett Brothers
  17. 48
    Up 16
    Down 36
    Indie pop, Folk music, Emo More
    added by: LaurieM
    Opened for Bruce Springsteen (Vote for Change Tour)
  18. 32
    Up 6
    Down 6
    Rock music, Hard rock More
    added by: StuartGantner
    Added to the bill with Scorpions and Sammy Hagar at the fairgrounds coliseum in Columbus. Also ... more
  19. 29
    Up 7
    Down 5
    Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music More
    added by: rxtechok
    "Opened for KISS
  20. 34
    Up 3
    Down 4
    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    added by: C_Moorehead
    Opened for Dio
  21. 27
    Up 11
    Down 9
    Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock More
    added by: StuartGantner
    Opened the World Series of Rock in Cleveland. Late addition to the bill. Possibly their first ... more
  22. 49
    Up 3
    Down 12
    No image

    U.K.

    added by: Scott Klingaman
    Opened for Jethro Tull 'A' Tour
  23. 42
    Up 23
    Down 34
    Pop music, Ska, World music More
    added by: Scarlett Joe Fan
    Opened for the 10,000 Maniacs
  24. 4
    Up 58
    Down 28
    Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal More
    added by: Rabbit
    Opened for Guns N' Roses
  25. 14
    Up 19
    Down 12
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock More
    added by: rich2112
    opened for the moody blues,
  26. 7
    Up 55
    Down 38
    Pop punk, Rock music, Garage rock More
    added by: Molly Gander
    Opened for No Doubt
  27. 10
    Up 25
    Down 15
    Classic rock, Jazz-funk, Rock music More
    added by: CourtneySchumm
    Opened for Pearl Jam
  28. 5
    Up 71
    Down 42
    Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal More
    added by: crzygirl
    Opened for Van Halen
  29. 2
    Up 87
    Down 47
    Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    added by: PolkadotKing
    Opened for Ozzy Osbourne, Guns N' Roses
  30. 9
    Up 25
    Down 14
    Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave More
    added by: clash1977
    Opened for The Who
  31. 15
    Up 42
    Down 37
    Rock music, Experimental rock, Neo-psychedelia More
    added by: Music Lover
    Opened for Soul Asylum
  32. 19
    Up 23
    Down 20
    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    added by: Dismalhead
    Opened for Rolling Stones
  33. 8
    Up 19
    Down 7
    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    added by: StuartGantner
    Opened for Black Sabbath in Pittsburgh. Roth spent more energy jumping across the stage ... more
  34. 33
    Up 29
    Down 34
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Garage rock More
    added by: Kingofp0px12
    Opened for U2, Pearl Jam
  35. 35
    Up 25
    Down 32
    Noise rock, Rock music, No wave More
    added by: Lons
    Opened for Pavement on the reunion tour
  36. 39
    Up 26
    Down 36
    Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    added by: Steph Bowerhaus
    Opened for John Prine
  37. 24
    Up 32
    Down 31
    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music More
    added by: KirkSaw
    Opened for the Police
  38. 47
    Up 3
    Down 10
    Country More
    added by: gamedemon24
    Opened for George Strait
  39. 28
    Up 20
    Down 19
    Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock More
    added by: ylander
    Opened for J. Gelis Band, Jethro Tull
  40. 30
    Up 9
    Down 8
    Nu metal, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    Opened for Metallica, Guns N' Roses
  41. 13
    Up 18
    Down 11
    Pop punk, Rock music, Alternative rock More
    added by: theClyde
    Opened for Bad Religion and Rage Against the Machine
  42. 31
    Up 7
    Down 7
    Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music More
    added by: StuartGantner
    Opened for UFO. While most opening acts are dismissed out of hand, they left an impression on ... more
  43. 44
    Up 3
    Down 7
    Indie, Folk rock, Alternative rock More
    Opened for Bob Dylan
  44. 16
    Up 13
    Down 8
    Crossover thrash, Nu metal, Political hip hop More
    added by: theClyde
    Opened for Bad Religion
  45. 45
    Up 3
    Down 8
    Heartland rock, Rock music, Country rock More
    Opened for Pearl Jam, Bob Dylan
  46. 46
    Up 13
    Down 26

    St8 of Grace

    Alternative Rock More
    added by: CharlesSwift
  47. 22
    Up 27
    Down 25
    Alternative rock, Synthpop, Electronica More
    added by: FaptimusPrime
    Opened for Guns N' Roses
  48. 25
    Up 10
    Down 7
    added by: Coolza
    Opened for Radiohead
  49. 43
    Up 7
    Down 13

    Roger McGuinn & Crowded House (ByrdHouse)

    added by: ClarkCountyCriminalCops
  50. 50 +

    Something missing? Add it!

Is this list missing something?
RANKERS WHO ADDED ITEMS + 24 MORE

items 1 - 49 of 49

think you can do better?

Rerank This List
why?

got a blog or website?

embed this list
why?

viewers of this list also saw

more popular lists