The Pros and Cons of Opening Acts: Enhancing or Hindering the Concert Experience?

Madison Young

Updated Monday, April 15, 2024 at 12:30 AM CDT

The Pros and Cons of Opening Acts: Enhancing or Hindering the Concert Experience?

The Agony of Sitting Through Unknown Opening Acts

Attending a highly anticipated concert can be an exhilarating experience. However, for some concert-goers, the excitement can quickly turn into frustration when they find themselves sitting through nearly two hours of unknown opening acts before the main artist takes the stage. It's like enduring movie previews before the main feature begins. The author shares their personal experience of attending a concert where they had to endure multiple opening acts that they had no interest in seeing. Their attention span was tested, and by the time the actual show started, they were ready to go home.

Giving Smaller Artists a Chance

While the author's sentiment is relatable, another perspective is offered by a commenter who believes that opening acts provide smaller artists with exposure and an opportunity to be heard by a large audience. This exposure can potentially lead to future success for these artists. In fact, many big acts started as opening acts themselves, emphasizing the importance of giving smaller artists a chance to showcase their talent.

The Relevance of Opening Acts

Another commenter agrees with the author's sentiment but suggests that opening acts should at least be tangentially related to the main artist, rather than completely random. This would ensure a more cohesive and enjoyable concert experience for the audience.

Enhancing the Overall Concert Experience

One commenter argues that attending a concert is not just about the main performance but also about the overall experience of arriving, partying, and leaving. Having opening acts contributes to the anticipation and build-up of the main act, adding to the excitement and energy of the event. They suggest that attending concerts with an open mind and actually listening to the opening acts might lead to the discovery of new music and artists.

Lengthening or Shortening the Evening?

A counterpoint is made by another commenter who asserts that most bands cannot sustain sets longer than 90 minutes to 2 hours. Removing opening acts would result in a significantly shorter evening, potentially leaving concert-goers feeling unsatisfied.

The Timing of the Main Act

It is mentioned that the main band usually takes the stage at 9pm, or 10pm if there are multiple bands performing. This allows attendees the flexibility of arriving anytime before 9pm if they are not familiar with the opening acts.

Opening Acts in Different Genres

The practice of having opening acts varies across genres. In the metal genre, it is common to see big bands supporting slightly bigger bands, but this practice can also occur in other genres. This highlights the collaborative nature of the music industry and the support that artists provide to one another.

Unveiling Surprises or Creating Disappointment?

Opening acts are usually listed on promotional materials, so concert-goers typically have an idea of who they will be seeing. However, there is some uncertainty as to whether the practice of listing opening acts has changed in recent times.

The Beauty of Unexpected Gems

While the author's opinion is described as terrible by one commenter, another commenter shares a personal experience of attending a Prince concert before he achieved fame. The opening act was The Gap Band, and it turned out to be the best time ever. This highlights the potential for opening acts to surprise and delight the audience.

The debate surrounding opening acts at concerts is multifaceted. While some concert-goers find sitting through unknown opening acts to be a frustrating experience, others appreciate the opportunity to discover new music and support smaller artists. The presence of opening acts can enhance the overall concert experience, but it also raises questions about the relevance and cohesion of the lineup. Ultimately, the decision to include opening acts or not lies in the hands of the artist and the preferences of the audience.

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