Strangest Opening Act Bookings Bands/Musicians

Strangest Opening Act Bookings

24,085 views 50 items 1,651 votes 187 voters 6 followers 1rerank
Some of the strangest opening act bookings no doubt leave music fans scratching their collective heads. Most of the time, an opening act 'gels' well with the headliner. Rock bands, for instance, tend to open for other, more well-known rock bands. Occasionally, though, for some reason, very, very unlikely pairings happen. Who on Earth thought of having Jimi Hendrix open for The Monkees? What crazy, deranged concert promoter decided that having The Afghan Whigs open for Aerosmith was a super good idea? This list includes some of the most bizarre concert billings ever. Be sure to vote for those artists that you think are the most peculiar opening acts of all time, and, if you know of one not listed, by all means, add them! Everyone, it seems, has seen an oddly mismatched concert billing at one time or another.

It's hard to imagine who thought having the Beastie Boys open for Madonna on her 1985 Virgin Tour was an awesome idea. Audiences generally hated it, and critics did too. And while the Beasties went on to great fame and fortune, that tour is probably not one of the highlights of their career. Flash forward to 2012, now, and behold, one of the strangest, most unusual opening act bookings to date: Kool & the Gang will open shows for...Van Halen?! Yep. Apparently, this was David Lee Roth's bright idea. Celebrate good times, come on!

An opening act is supposed to be less popular than the headliner. That's just how it works, right? Wrong. Sometimes, the opening act winds up stealing the show. In 1983, Stevie Ray Vaughan opened for The Moody Blues. And he was, as always, amazing. Headliners want opening acts to warm up the crowd, but not take away from their big show.

The worst, oddest opening act billings resulted in disaster for some. Prince, of all people, was booed continually when he opened for The Rolling Stones in October of 1981. And Terence Trent D'Arby had the unfortunate status of opening act for Bruce Springsteen at New York's Madison Square Garden in June of 1993. Audiences did NOT like the choice: They booed throughout D'Arby's performance, and they also really pissed off The Boss - he cursed at them and then rushed through the show. And poor "Weird Al" Yankovic: He had the misfortune of opening for the new wave band Missing Persons in 1982. He's still somewhat traumatized by the experience, which he says included getting "pelted for 45 minutes" by "anything that wasn't nailed down."

Behold, the list of the most bizarre, strangest opening act bookings in music history. Don't boo, don't throw things -- just vote for your favorites!

Check out more lists like Scary Childhood Fears, Great Jobs That Don't Need Degrees, Anthony Kiedis Tattoos, World War Z Movie Quotes and Carmelo Anthony Tattoos

List Criteria: Openings bands that are completely different than headliners. Could be in different genres or opposite images.

  • the list
  • 1 reranks
  • comments
  • </> embed
Rerank This List
View as a
Rank
loading your
votes…
 
  Name
  1. 1
    Up 83
    Down 15
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    Opened for The Monkees in 1967
  2. 2
    Up 63
    Down 21
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk More
    Opened for Simon and Garfunkel in 1967 (Forest Hills, Queens)
  3. 3
    Up 48
    Down 19
    Popular music, Pop music, Rock music More
    Opened for Herman's Hermits on July 14, 1967
  4. 4
    Up 56
    Down 32
    Hip hop music, Pop punk, Alternative hip hop More
    Opened for Madonna in 1985
  5. 5
    Up 38
    Down 16
    Glam metal, Experimental rock, Shock rock More
    Opened for Chad & Jeremy in 1970
  6. 6
    Up 49
    Down 26
    Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock More
    Opened for Anne Murray on August 3, 1974 at New York's Schaefer Music Festival in Central Park ... more
  7. 7
    Up 33
    Down 18
    Pop music, Rock music, Folk music More
    Opened for the Doors in the mid-1960s (Portland and Seattle)
  8. 8
    Up 39
    Down 24
    Disco, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B More
    Opening for Van Halen in 2012
  9. 9
    Up 45
    Down 30
    Hip hop music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music More
    Opened for AC/DC and the Rolling Stones in 2003 (Toronto)
  10. 10
    Up 41
    Down 29
    Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave More
    Opened for The Rolling Stones on October 11, 1981
  11. 11
    Up 25
    Down 21
    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music More
    Opened for The Who in 1982
  12. 12
    Up 20
    Down 16
    added by: alexgor23
    Opened for Sly and the Family Stone in 1973 in Tacoma, Washington. He tells a great story ... more
  13. 13
    Up 29
    Down 27
    Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    Opened for Kiss in 1975
  14. 14
    Up 5
    Down 1
    Alternative rock, Punk rock, Folk punk More
    added by: StarpunkRoQr
    opened up for Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers. No, you're not hallucinating.
  15. 15
    Up 22
    Down 20
    Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop, Electro More
    Opened for The Clash in 1981
  16. 16
    Up 3
    Down 0
    Disco, Pop music, Rhythm and blues More
    added by: StarpunkRoQr
    opened up for John Mellencamp. He mentions "seeing Paris, Texas" on his 1985 ...
  17. 17
    Up 3
    Down 0
    Hip hop music, Political hip hop, Hardcore hip hop More
    added by: StarpunkRoQr
  18. 18
    Up 4
    Down 1
    Crossover thrash, Nu metal, Political hip hop More
    added by: StarpunkRoQr
    opened up for U2 in 1997
  19. 19
    Up 4
    Down 1
    No image

    Special Beat / English Beat

    added by: StarpunkRoQr
    opened up for Sting in 1991
  20. 20
    Up 8
    Down 5
    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    Opened for Blue Oyster Cult, 1973
  21. 21
    Up 23
    Down 23
    Hip hop music, Pop music, Rock music More
    Opened for Missing Persons in 1982
  22. 22
    Up 2
    Down 0
    Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog More
    added by: sangredeargento
    opened for Alanis Morrrisette 
  23. 23
    Up 3
    Down 1
    Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Alternative hip hop More
    added by: StarpunkRoQr
    openers for U2 in 1997
  24. 24
    Up 3
    Down 1
    Glam metal, New Wave, Gothic rock More
    added by: StarpunkRoQr
    opened up for Billy Idol in 1990
  25. 25
    Up 3
    Down 1
    No image

    Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers

    added by: StarpunkRoQr
    opened for the B-52s in 1990.
  26. 26
    Up 3
    Down 1
    Boogie rock, Rock music, Hard rock More
    added by: StarpunkRoQr
    opened for Van Halen ( the 5150 tour, the first "Van Hagar" tour ) in 1986.
  27. 27
    Up 4
    Down 2
    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    added by: StarpunkRoQr
    opened up for Rush in 1990, believe it or not!
  28. 28
    Up 4
    Down 2
    Alternative hip hop, Experimental hip hop, Industrial hip hop More
    added by: kuzronk
    Opened for Björk in 2013
  29. 29
    Up 20
    Down 22
    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    Opened for Kiss, the Scorpions and ZZ Top in 1984
  30. 30
    Up 2
    Down 1
    added by: StarpunkRoQr
    opened for Smoky Robinson in 1987
  31. 31
    Up 19
    Down 21
    Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave More
    Opened for The Who in 1982
  32. 32
    Up 3
    Down 2
    Hip hop music, Ska, Rap rock More
    added by: StarpunkRoQr
    opened for Living Colour in 1991
  33. 33
    Up 14
    Down 16
    Blues-rock, New Wave, Rock music More
    Opened for Jethro Tull in 1975
  34. 34
    Up 2
    Down 2
    Adult album alternative, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    added by: StarpunkRoQr
    opened up for the Rolling Stones. Good playing, John Popper is a mean harmonica player but a ... more
  35. 35
    Up 15
    Down 21
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock More
    Opened for the Moody Blues in 1983
  36. 36
    Up 13
    Down 19
    Gospel music, Country More
    Opened for The White Stripes in 2007
  37. 37
    Up 14
    Down 22
    Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal More
    Opened for Love and Rockets in December, 1987
  38. 38
    Up 8
    Down 15
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Neo-psychedelia More
    added by: PeteBoyle
    Opened for The Killers in 2009
  39. 39
    Up 12
    Down 22
    Rock music, Heavy metal, Stoner rock More
    Opened for Jethro Tull in 1969
  40. 40
    Up 13
    Down 25
    Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal More
    Opened for Metallica in 1998
  41. 41
    Up 8
    Down 17
    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Synthpop More
    added by: PeteBoyle
    Opened for U2 in 2009
  42. 42
    Up 10
    Down 21
    Piano rock, Dark cabaret, Soft rock More
    Opened for Nine Inch Nails in 2005
  43. 43
    Up 10
    Down 21
    Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock More
    Opened for Aerosmith in 1999
  44. 44
    Up 7
    Down 16
    Rock music, Country rock, Country More
    added by: Dismalhead
    "Opened for Black Sabbath in 1981"
  45. 45
    Up 12
    Down 25
    Rock music, Acoustic music More
    Opened for Frank Zappa on August 18, 1984
  46. 46
    Up 10
    Down 22
    Post-metal, Metal, Progressive metal More
    added by: Pallknowing1
    Opened for Rollins Band & Rage Against the Machine in 1992
  47. 47
    Up 14
    Down 29
    Rock music, Heavy metal, Acoustic music More
    Opened for Pearl Jam on July 13, 1993 at The Forum
  48. 48
    Up 9
    Down 21
    Psychedelic soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    Opened for Bruce Springsteen in 1993
  49. 49
    Up 8
    Down 21
    Noise rock, Rock music, No wave More
    added by: Clark Benson
    Opened for Neil Young and Crazy Horse in 1991. Lots of confused hippies in the audience for ... more
  50. 50
    Up 7
    Down 24
    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop More
    Opened for Dave Matthews Band in 2005
  51. +Add New Item

Is this list missing something?
RANKERS WHO ADDED ITEMS

items 1 - 50 of 50

think you can do better?

Rerank This List
why?

got a blog or website?

embed this list
why?

    more popular lists