The crowd is still walking in when the guitar begins to wail. People idly chitchat while the lead singer tires to draw them in by dancing about the stage, flailing his arms in a display of “look at me.”
But the crowd continues to play their game of Temple Run while the band plays through its short set. It’s sad to watch, but these characteristics are seen so often by opening acts and crowds alike.
Put down the phone for the next few hours and get your money’s worth out of this show by listening to every band, and not just your favorites.
Countless times, I have attended a show and discredited the opening act just to kick myself a few months later when they are the next big thing.
It seems that most people don’t even try to give the opening act a shot. Instead, they are focused on the main event which won’t be hitting the stage until the very end of the night. But what people don’t understanding is that they are failing to take notice of a big opportunity.
I remember when I went and saw Motion City Soundtrack for the first time back when I was in high school. The band Fun. was the opener. I wanted to skip past this batch of oddballs and go straight to The Future Freaks Me Out.
I think this was the first night I swore that I would never again see the opener as a time killer.
For the first time, I actually listened. I’ve look back on that night so many times and I can’t even begin to say how thankful I am for putting my phone away for 30 minutes to listen.
And the funny part is that I remember more from Fun.’s set than I do from MCS’s.
Fast forward a few years and that opener I took the time to pay attention to is on every radio station, performing at every award show, and is used in just about every commercial.
I feel like we would have learned by now to go to a show to see all of the acts and not just the one with its name plastered across the largest on the tour poster.
The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, Pixies and the Foo Fighters. These are just a few examples of opening acts that became household names.
But they didn’t do it overnight, they ‘paid their dues’ and filled the opening slot.
I do feel that being the opening act is a right of passage, but I have to urge you to stop texting, talking, or just plain ignoring the openers. Like I said, you could be missing out on the next big thing.
Show some respect and put that phone away, face the stage and listen to the “time killer.” It might just become your new favorite band. Trust me, I know from experience.