We’ve all been guilty of saying the phrase “it’s okay if we leave late for the show, we’ll only miss the openers.” I know, because I have often found myself saying it almost every time my friends and I discuss what time we need to leave by. However, the more shows I go to, the more I have come to realize that us concert goers should really take advantage of seeing the artists that have been picked to open the shows.
Nine times out of ten, the names under the headliner on the bill are ones you’ve never seen before. It’s that lack of familiarity that often turns people away; people want to show up to see the band they paid for, and have no desire to sit through sets of songs they don’t know. But that’s one of the cool things about openers: they give you the opportunity to discover new music. Just because this artist or band hasn’t come across your radar yet, doesn’t mean that they aren’t something you could potentially enjoy. It gives you an opportunity to expand your music library, and you could even discover your next favorite artist.
For those of you who have read my blog before, you may remember in my first post that I mentioned I first discovered Twenty One Pilots when they opened for Fall Out Boy in 2013. (If you haven’t read that post, feel free to check it out, its pretty cool just sayin.) This is the perfect example of why you shouldn’t brush aside opening acts. In 2013, I had never heard of Twenty One Pilots, but because I showed up that show to early enough to see their set, I got to discover one of my now favorite bands. Most recently I went to see Panic! at the Disco (there’s also a post about that show, another cool thing you should read if you haven’t yet.) The openers for this show were Saint Motel and MisterWives, and I loved watching both of their performances. I had heard the name Saint Motel before because I was familiar with their most popular song, but because I showed up early enough to actually see their performance, I got to listen to more of their music that I ended up loving. I had never heard of MisterWives before this night, but I really enjoyed their set, and ever since this show I’ve been listening to their music daily.
It’s important to remember that these openers, these bands and artists, they’re just trying to put their music out there and make themselves known. Quite often, openers will be bands that are on a lower status, and are not very popular. These shows are their opportunity to expand their fan base, and I personally believe that it’s important to support music and rising artists. Sitting through an artists half hour set isn’t going to kill you, and it’s not like you have to pay extra to see them perform. It’s part of your ticket, part of what you paid to see, so you might as well get your moneys worth and get all the music experience you can in one night. These artists are trying to make their dreams a reality, and playing these shows are an amazing experience for them. Whether you realize it or not, showing up early and watching these artists do what they love means the world to them.
Just because an artist isn’t known when you see them, doesn’t mean they won’t be a huge name in the next few months or years. Twenty One Pilots were hardly known in 2013. Now in 2017, Twenty One Pilots is a huge and well known name, winning grammys, selling out arenas, and having a generous amount of air time on the radio. Ed Sheeran started out as an opener for Taylor Swift, and now he is literally breaking records left and right. These no name acts that you’ve never heard could turn out to be some of the biggest names in the future, and you could have the opportunity to discover them way before they become a house hold name. Take advantage of the lineup of a show, don’t brush off musicians just because you’ve never heard of them before. At some point in their career, your favorite artists were those openers that people brushed aside. Give these bands a chance, it could lead to the discovery of some awesome new music, and who doesn’t love that?