3.0k voters

The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen

Updated July 9, 2020 16.0k votes 3.0k voters 62.4k views

List RulesOnly 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.

  • 1
    Stevie Ray Vaughan
    opened for the moody blues,

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  • 2

    The Arcana

  • 3
    ZZ Top

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  • 4

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  • 5

    Opened Up For Alice Cooper

  • 6
    Van Halen
    Opened for Black Sabbath in Pittsburgh. Roth spent more energy jumping across the stage than he did on singing.

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  • 7
    Opened for Kiss
  • 8
    Blue Öyster Cult
  • 9
    Alice Cooper

    Opened up for the Scorpions

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  • 10
    Thin Lizzy
  • 11
    The Jimi Hendrix Experience
    Opened for The Monkees

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  • 12

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  • 13
    The Black Crowes
    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,
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  • 14
    Opened for Guns N' Roses
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  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
    Opened the World Series of Rock in Cleveland. Late addition to the bill. Possibly their first U.S. Performance.
  • 18
    Alice in Chains
    Opened for Van Halen

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  • 19
    Opened for Dio
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  • 20
    Opened for U2
  • 21
    The Go-Go's
    Opened for The Police

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  • 22
    Rage Against the Machine
    Opened for Bad Religion

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  • 23
    The Clash
    Opened for The Who

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  • 24
    The Cult
    Opened for Billy Idol in Toronto
  • 25
    Red Hot Chili Peppers
    Opened for Pearl Jam

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