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Music

The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen  

Adam Tyler
13.8k votes 2.6k voters 59.9k views

List Rules 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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list ordered by
1
Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen
oldschoolrockisthebest added Glam metal, Experimental rock, Shock rock

Opened up for the Scorpions

2
Queen is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen
shan10 added Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal
3
Babymetal is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen
Scottea added Hip hop music, Bubblegum pop, Eurobeat
4
AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen
EveryIdeaStolen added Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music
5
Ranker Video
Lawrence Wong added Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal
Opened for Ozzy Osbourne, Guns N' Roses
6
Guns N' Roses is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen
Dismalhead added Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music
Opened for Rolling Stones
7
Pearl Jam is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen
clash1977 added Rock music, Grunge, Post-grunge
Opened for U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers
8
Green Day is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen
theClyde added Pop punk, Rock music, Alternative rock
Opened for Bad Religion and Rage Against the Machine
9
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen
StuartGantner added 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.
10
Rush is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen
RayJewhurst added Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal
Opened for Kiss
11
The Jimi Hendrix Experience is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen
Justmax360 added Blues-rock, Psychedelic soul, Rock music
Opened for The Monkees
12
Foo Fighters is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen
Robby Benton added Rock music, Grunge, Post-grunge
Opened for the Red Hot Chili Peppers
13
Red Hot Chili Peppers is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen
CourtneySchumm added Classic rock, Jazz-funk, Rock music
Opened for Pearl Jam
14
The Arcana is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen
*DSO* added The Arcana
15
Alice in Chains is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen
Tiffany Larson added Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal
Opened for Van Halen
16
Stevie Ray Vaughan is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen
rich2112 added Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock
opened for the moody blues,
17
Soundgarden is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen
Rabbit added Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal
Opened for Guns N' Roses
18
Imagine Dragons is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen
Skylanderlord3 added Indie pop, Pop music, Alternative rock

Opened for Kelly Clarkson 

 

19
Styx is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen
JazzyJeffJax added Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal
20
Kiss is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen
ANKOU added Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal
Opened for Blue Oyster Cult
21
Blue Öyster Cult is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen
slaft added Rock music, Heavy metal, Stoner rock
22
Thin Lizzy is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen
BobJarrett added Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music
23
U2 is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen
ylander added Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock
Opened for J. Gelis Band, Jethro Tull
24
The Cult is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen
MarkLuscombe added Gothic rock, Rock music, Heavy metal
Opened for Billy Idol in Toronto
25
Dio is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen
oldschoolrockisthebest added Rock music, Power metal, Heavy metal

Opened Up For Alice Cooper