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Buzz In: What's the Best Opening Band You've Ever Seen?

Buzz In: What's the Best Opening Band You've Ever Seen?

The other day, I was thrilled at the chance to see Neko Case play live in San Francisco — but I was also awfully excited about her opening act, Jason Lytle of the band Granddaddy. In my experience, some opening bands can be tedious, just another thing separating you from the musicians you actually paid money to see. But others can be great shows in their own right.

The best opener I've ever seen was the band Pony Up, who opened for the Mountain Goats here in San Francisco a couple of years back. I hadn't heard of them before the show, but their catchy songs and infectious energy set a perfect mood for the crowd. I first saw Grizzly Bear as an opener, and it's also how I first encountered the adorable band The Brunettes.

What are some of the best, most fun, or most surprising opening acts you've seen?


Join The Conversation
Advah Advah 8 years
Two bands actually: Goldfrapp for Coldplay, and Albert Hammond Jr. for Arcade Fire&Arctic Monkeys (that was one amazing night).
Anadi Anadi 8 years
Louis XIV opening for the Killers in Barcelona. I became a fan after that.
new new 8 years
oh wow A Perfect Circle opening up for NIN that must have been an amazing show. I saw A Perfect Circle co-headline with the Deftones once and that was an amazing show too. Speaking of NIN; I saw them in Amsterdam two years ago and Ladytron was the support act and they were also amazing. I guess NIN always has great support acts. I will be seeing NIN again in two months with Mew as support act. I don't know Mew so I'm curious to see how good they are.
divinedebris divinedebris 8 years
Oh, I'm so glad you asked this. I recently went to two shows on the NINJA tour ( Nine Inch Nails and Janes Addiction) and yes, NIN did go on before Janes but I don't count them as openers... I digress, Street Sweeper Social Club opened and they were amazing. It's Boots Riley and Tom Morello's new band and even though my husband and I were there for NIN (goodbye tour, *tear*) we went hope singing SSSC songs. I also saw Queens of the Stone Age open for NIN on their 2005 With Teeth tour and they were just freakin' fantastic. Do I have to mention yet another NIN show that had a great opener? Yes? Ok, A Perfect Circle opened for NIN in '99-2000 Fragility tour, do I need to say more? Ha, sorry for my NIN filled post. Check out SSSC on their myspace, you won't regret it.
amybdk amybdk 8 years
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks opening for Radiohead! :faint:
new new 8 years
deathstars opening for korn and earlier for cradle of filth. deathstars are now my fave band. also, fuel 238 opening for silverchair in 2000. and magnacult opening for devildriver, but that's because the singer was my boyfriend at the time ;) i've seen too many bands to remember so I probably forgot about a few good ones.
ChapstickAddict ChapstickAddict 8 years
Spoon opened for Cake at a show in Philadelphia back in 2001. That whole show was amazing. I've also seen the Flaming Lips open for (more like tour with) Cake and more recently saw the Cold War Kids open for Death Cab for Cutie. I think the Cold War Kids were actually better.
Midnight-Harlow Midnight-Harlow 8 years
It's a toss between Honey Honey who I have seen open up for Lifehouse twice and Arizona who opened up for Langhorne Slim.
liz313 liz313 8 years
I saw Lifehouse last year and Matt Nathanson opened for them. I had never heard of him but he was AMAZING. He put on an incredible and entertaining show. I felt like I had watched an entire show before the headliner even went on. I bought his album there and bought more when I went home. If you ever get a chance to see him I recommend it.
Mädchen Mädchen 8 years
Frank Turner opening for The Gaslight Anthem (who were absolutely brilliant as well) on their European tour this February. Also, The Exit opening for Rx Bandits a few years back.
hiptobesquare hiptobesquare 8 years
Oxford Collapse for We Are Scientists...Great show.
jessy777 jessy777 8 years
String Out who opened for Papa Roach and White Oleander who opened for 3 Doors Down.
ElizabethRae ElizabethRae 8 years
I saw Train open for Collective Soul before Train was really big, so that was cool. But Lucinda Williams might take the cake. I absolutely ADORE her and she opened for Neil Young on his Greendale tour.
Amanda-La Amanda-La 8 years
Blind Pilot opening for The Decemberists. If you don't have 3 rounds and a sound, get it. Also if you dont have Hazards of Love, most definitely get it.
jenintx jenintx 8 years
Unwritten Law and Papa Roach for 311 a few years ago. I also saw Phantom Planet open for Incubus one year, and they were sooper good too!
Jinx Jinx 8 years
Dave Grohl and The Foo Fighters opened for Bob Dylan. They blew the roof off the JLC!
shmoo15 shmoo15 8 years
Broken Social Scene opened for Feist about 5 years ago.
mudnessa mudnessa 8 years
Some of the bands I love today were openers and at that point I had never heard of them. Static-X opening for Megadeth. Queens of the Stone Age opening for Hole. Into Eternity opening for almost every show I went to for a while, those boys were everywhere. Morbid Angel opening for Slayer, that was amazing. Comes With the Fall opening for Jerry Cantrell.
weffie weffie 8 years
Technically, the "best" one I've seen was Pixies for Weezer, but that doesn't really count... Recently, Natalie Portman's Shaved Head killed it on the Lily Allen tour, they were fantastic. I was blown away by the Mooney Suzuki when they toured with the Hives years ago, too. Also, I saw Dropkick Murphys and Reverend Horton Heat open for the Sex Pistols, they were already famous but that was an awesome show!
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 8 years
I went to see The Editors in Philly once and Louis XIV was one of the openers. Louis XIV blew every other band that night away!!!
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
I saw a band called Swampa ZZ open for Ozomatli in Hawaii. They were just a small, local band, but so much fun!
luckyme luckyme 8 years
Ben Harper for Dave Matthews Band in '99, I think...? I also LOVED Ingrid Michaelson opening for Ray LaMontagne last summer.
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