So often at various concerts I end up thinking about opening acts. Whereas it would be so much easier not to think about them at all: bland, forgettable, underwhelming, do they really merit a serious consideration?.. I guess Tigers Jaw were the best opening band I’ve seen (supporting The Menzingers a couple of years back), and that’s not because they were any good. It’s because everyone around was singing along to “Plane vs Tank vs Submarine”.
Upstaging the main act is nigh impossible, of course. It’s like stealing voters at the polling station. You have to convert a thousand hard-nosed, intensely indifferent agnostics for whom you are merely an annoying distraction. A fucking fly.
And the oddest thing about opening acts is that they all try to be good. To play their songs well. To pave the insipid way for the act we have all come to see. To be loved. The trouble is – nobody cares. Honestly – why would I care about four good-looking guys playing good-sounding soft rock (or whatever) and even having the depressing effrontery to introduce each member of the band by their name? Come on now.
What I’ve come to realise over the years is that an opening act can’t impress with the songs. Even if the songs are genuinely good (no one will even find out, will they?). Live, unknown songs by unknown bands are simply irrelevant. In fact, it would make so much more sense if they just threw a drum kit into the audience or set the stage on fire. At the very least – they would be noticed.