Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen Bands/Musicians
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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.

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  1. 18
    + 44
    - 43

    added by KirkSaw Rock music, Britpop, Alternative rock Opened for Neil Young

    ) open
  2. 33
    + 11
    - 13

    added by C_Moorehead Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music Opened for Dio

    ) open
  3. 13
    + 18
    - 6

    added by shan10 Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ) open
  4. 37
    + 34
    - 48

    added by Kingofp0px12 Blues-rock, Rock music, Garage rock Opened for U2, Pearl Jam

    ) open
  5. 17
    + 31
    - 27

    added by theClyde Pop punk, Rock music, Alternative rock Opened for Bad Religion and Rage Against the Machine

    ) open
  6. 42
    + 20
    - 35

    added by Randolph Glam metal, Progressive metal, Power metal Opened for Guns N Roses

    ) open
  7. 24
    + 20
    - 19

    Nu metal, Rock music, Heavy metal Opened for Metallica, Guns N' Roses

    ) open
  8. 12
    + 48
    - 33

    added by Dismalhead Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music Opened for Rolling Stones

    ) open
  9. 29
    + 39
    - 43

    added by Samantha Dillinger Pop punk, New Wave, Pop music Opened for The Police

    ) open
  10. 31
    + 17
    - 17

    added by StuartGantner Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock Opened the World Series of Rock in Cleveland. Late addition to the bill. Possibly their first U.S. Performance.

    ) open
  11. 6
    + 57
    - 28

    added by CourtneySchumm Classic rock, Jazz-funk, Rock music Opened for Pearl Jam

    ) open
  12. 8
    + 41
    - 22

    added by rich2112 Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock opened for the moody blues,

    ) open
  13. 36
    + 31
    - 40

    added by Lons Noise rock, Rock music, No wave Opened for Pavement on the reunion tour

    ) open
  14. 25
    + 35
    - 37

    added by ANKOU Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal Opened for Blue Oyster Cult

    ) open
  15. 4
    + 103
    - 58

    added by crzygirl Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal Opened for Van Halen

    ) open
  16. 20
    + 55
    - 56

    added by Roger Stenson Experimental rock, Grunge, Noise Opened for U2

    ) open
  17. 1
    + 108
    - 50

    added by Justmax360 Blues-rock, Psychedelic soul, Rock music Opened for The Monkees

    ) open
  18. 43
    + 24
    - 41

    added by Kyle Townsend Rock music, Alternative country, Indie rock Opened for the Avett Brothers

    ) open
  19. 44
    + 14
    - 27

    added by gurleenkaur1310 Country pop, Pop music, Rock music

    ) open
  20. 35
    + 1
    - 1

    new! & added by SleekiePenguin Pop music, Trip hop, Rock music

    ) open
  21. 45
    + 8
    - 20

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk Opened for Neil Young 

    ) open
  22. 50
    + 17
    - 43

    added by LaurieM Indie pop, Folk music, Emo Opened for Bruce Springsteen (Vote for Change Tour)

    ) open
  23. 51
    + 4
    - 18

    Heartland rock, Rock music, Country rock Opened for Pearl Jam, Bob Dylan

    ) open
  24. 26
    + 13
    - 11

    added by LibertysArmy Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music

    ) open
  25. 54
    + 3
    - 19
    No image

    added by Scott Klingaman U.K. Opened for Jethro Tull 'A' Tour

    ) open
  26. 11
    + 55
    - 37

    added by MichaelCarter Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog Opened for R.E.M. and Alanis Morrissette

    ) open
  27. 30
    + 8
    - 6

    added by BobJarrett Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

    ) open
  28. 16
    + 36
    - 29

    added by clash1977 Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave Opened for The Who

    ) open
  29. 3
    + 124
    - 70

    added by PolkadotKing Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal Opened for Ozzy Osbourne, Guns N' Roses

    ) open
  30. 38
    + 25
    - 37

    added by jxfine1981 Rock music, Experimental rock, Neo-psychedelia opened for Nine Inch Nails

    ) open
  31. 10
    + 38
    - 20

    added by RayJewhurst Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal Opened for Kiss

    ) open
  32. 53
    + 1
    - 10
    No image

    added by laustcawz Balancing Act Rock Opened for The Go-Betweens

    ) open
  33. 47
    + 4
    - 15

    Indie, Folk rock, Alternative rock Opened for Bob Dylan

    ) open
  34. 22
    + 57
    - 61

    Space rock, Rock music, Electronic music Opened for U2

    ) open
  35. 46
    + 24
    - 44

    added by Scarlett Joe Fan Pop music, Ska, World music Opened for the 10,000 Maniacs

    ) open
  36. 15
    + 63
    - 55

    added by Molly Gander Pop punk, Rock music, Garage rock Opened for No Doubt

    ) open
  37. 23
    + 23
    - 22

    added by theClyde Crossover thrash, Nu metal, Political hip hop Opened for Bad Religion

    ) open
  38. 14
    + 50
    - 41

    added by KirkSaw Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music Opened for the Police

    ) open
  39. 27
    + 16
    - 15

    added by StuartGantner Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music Opened for UFO. While most opening acts are dismissed out of hand, they left an impression on many of us who were there to see Schenker. A good, tight rock and roll band,

    ) open
  40. 5
    + 79
    - 46

    added by Rabbit Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal Opened for Guns N' Roses

    ) open
  41. 7
    + 66
    - 36

    added by clash1977 Rock music, Grunge, Post-grunge Opened for U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers

    ) open
  42. 21
    + 35
    - 34

    added by ylander Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock Opened for J. Gelis Band, Jethro Tull

    ) open
  43. 39
    + 9
    - 16

    added by StuartGantner Rock music, Hard rock Added to the bill with Scorpions and Sammy Hagar at the fairgrounds coliseum in Columbus. Also opened multiple times for Rush.

    ) open
  44. 41
    + 28
    - 46

    added by Steph Bowerhaus Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music Opened for John Prine

    ) open
  45. 40
    + 8
    - 17

    added by gamedemon24 Country Opened for George Strait

    ) open
  46. 9
    + 41
    - 22

    added by StuartGantner Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal Opened for Black Sabbath in Pittsburgh. Roth spent more energy jumping across the stage than he did on singing.

    ) open
  47. 28
    + 44
    - 49

    added by Music Lover Rock music, Experimental rock, Neo-psychedelia Opened for Soul Asylum

    ) open
  48. 34
    + 12
    - 15

    added by rxtechok Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music "Opened for KISS

    ) open
  49. 2
    + 128
    - 71

    added by Robby Benton Rock music, Grunge, Post-grunge Opened for the Red Hot Chili Peppers

    ) open
  50. 49
    + 15
    - 34

    added by CharlesSwift St8 of Grace Alternative Rock

    ) open
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