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

The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen

By 6.7k votes 1.1k voters 52k views 82 items tags f p @

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.

List Photo: user uploaded image
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  1. 1
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    Metallica is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen

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

  2. 2
    + 166
    - 93

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

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  3. 3
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    - 122

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

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  4. 4
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    - 101

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

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  5. 5
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    - 81

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

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  6. 6
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    - 77
    Green Day is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen

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

  7. 7
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    Red Hot Chili Peppers is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen

    added by CourtneySchumm
    Red Hot Chili Peppers Classic rock, Jazz-funk, Rock music Opened for Pearl Jam

  8. 8
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    - 35
    Queen is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen

    added by shan10
    Queen Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

  9. 9
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    Guns N' Roses is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen

    added by Dismalhead
    Guns N' Roses Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music Opened for Rolling Stones

  10. 10
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    Soundgarden is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen

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

  11. 11
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    Rush is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen

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

  12. 12
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    - 53
    Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen

    added by StuartGantner
    Van Halen 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.

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  13. 13
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    Stevie Ray Vaughan is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen

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

  14. 14
    + 19
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    AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen

    added by EveryIdeaStolen
    AC/DC Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

  15. 15
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    added by MichaelCarter
    Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog Opened for R.E.M. and Alanis Morrissette

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  16. 16
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    added by Molly Gander
    Pop punk, Rock music, Garage rock Opened for No Doubt

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  17. 17
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    U2 is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen

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

  18. 18
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    Duran Duran is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen

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

  19. 19
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    Kiss is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen

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

  20. 20
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    Scorpions is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen

    added by StuartGantner
    Scorpions 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.

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  21. 21
    + 57
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    The Clash is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen

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

  22. 22
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    Space rock, Rock music, Electronic music Opened for U2

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  23. 23
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    added by KirkSaw
    Rock music, Britpop, Alternative rock Opened for Neil Young

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  24. 24
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    Santana is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen

    added by slaft
    Santana Blues-rock, Chicano rock, Rock music

  25. 25
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    added by theClyde
    Crossover thrash, Nu metal, Political hip hop Opened for Bad Religion

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  26. 26
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    added by LibertysArmy
    Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music

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  27. 27
    + 17
    - 14
    Blue Öyster Cult is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen

    added by slaft
    Blue Öyster Cult Rock music, Heavy metal, Stoner rock

  28. 28
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    added by Roger Stenson
    Experimental rock, Grunge, Noise Opened for U2

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  29. 29
    + 36
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    Faith No More is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen

    Faith No More Nu metal, Rock music, Heavy metal Opened for Metallica, Guns N' Roses

  30. 30
    + 50
    - 58
    Nine Inch Nails: Live is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen

    added by FaptimusPrime
    Alternative rock, Synthpop, Electronica Opened for Guns N' Roses

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  31. 31
    + 28
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    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,

    ;
  32. 32
    + 48
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    The Go-Go's is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen

    added by Samantha Dillinger
    The Go-Go's Pop punk, New Wave, Pop music Opened for The Police

  33. 33
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    added by BobJarrett
    Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

    ;
  34. 34
    + 26
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    Whitesnake is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen

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

  35. 35
    + 7
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    added by Vlademier O Kurevski
    Rock music, Folk rock, Pop rock

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  36. 36
    + 54
    - 71
    Living Colour is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen

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

  37. 37
    + 12
    - 15

    added by SleekiePenguin
    Pop music, Trip hop, Rock music

    ;
  38. 38
    + 42
    - 56
    Sonic Youth is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen

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

  39. 39
    + 25
    - 33
    Beck Hansen is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen

    added by Coolza
    Beck Hansen Alternative hip hop, Anti-folk, Country rap Opened for Radiohead

  40. 40
    + 8
    - 10

    added by rmblstrp
    Industrial metal, Gothic metal, Industrial music

    ;
  41. 41
    + 22
    - 30
    W.A.S.P. is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen

    added by rxtechok
    W.A.S.P. Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music "Opened for KISS

  42. 42
    + 48
    - 67

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

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  43. 43
    + 3
    - 5

    added by MarkLuscombe
    Glam metal, Thrash metal, Power metal Opened For Motley Crue In Toronto

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  44. 44
    + 18
    - 27

    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.

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  45. 45
    + 6
    - 10

    added by punksnotdead
    Bubblegum pop, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  46. 46
    + 8
    - 13
    Steve Winwood is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen

    added by slaft
    Steve Winwood Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music

  47. 47
    + 4
    - 8

    added by MarkLuscombe
    Gothic rock, Rock music, Heavy metal Opened for Billy Idol in Toronto

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  48. 48
    + 32
    - 49

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

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  49. 49
    + 5
    - 11

    added by josh-gillin
    Pop music, Christian alternative rock, Rock music opened for Daughtry

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  50. 50
    + 6
    - 13

    added by josh-gillin
    Emo, Melodic hardcore, Punk rock Opened for Bon Jovi

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