I've often listed the opening acts I've seen that went on to bigger and better things, but some of them seemed "odd" in that their particular brand of music wasn't anywhere near the type(in genre) of the headliner's. Like, you'd expect a rock'n'roll band to open for another, or even a "prog-rock" band. But back in the early '70's there were several concerts in which the opener was a complete different genre from the main act. Like The Mahavishnu Orhestra opening for Emerson, Lake and Palmer, or later for Frank Zappa.
Or at one time, the mostly(unheard of) Eagles opening for Mahavishnu, or a couple of years later, Jo Jo Gunne opening for Mahavishnu. Or....
The Eagles opening for YES, and( one I missed) YES opening for Black Sabbath!
And even though the concerts were enjoyable, I thought the mixes kind of odd. Any of ya seen these odd mixes too? And if yes, then what were they? Whitefang
I can not remember many of the opening acts, Sometimes I went to concerts that had 4 headlining bands like one concert I went to that had the Youngbloods, Santana, Chicago and one other band that I can not remember which one. I was always pretty stoned so I enjoyed most of what I saw anyways. I can tell you that Santana was third on that bill and Chicago tried to follow them as the closing act but even though they were good that night, Santana was my favorite band that night. That was on Santana's first national tour so they were full of fire that night.
+1 DBM, I can never remember who the opening acts were...except for 1. A friend made me go with him to an Alabama concert as his wife couldn't go and he didn't want to waste a ticket, so I said OK, even though I didn't like going to huge concerts. We were standing in front of the stage and the MC said ladies and gentlemen, The Charlie Daniels Band! I thought WTF this can't be happening! But, it was them and I was so glad I went...Charlie is one of my favorites...they were not on the tickets, flyers, radio ads, nada! A little OT in that they were both country southern rock bands and not at all an odd combo! and +1 on Santana, another favorite of mine!
To be honest I think that was a phenomenon of a certain era-The whole opening/headline dynamic has changed. The thing now is multiple artists, mostly owing to any one of them not having the audience draw for a solo tour. Everyone is opening for everyone. I believe there was and still is a lot of backroom negotiation about who is available i.e., who doesn`t have a conflicting schedule, and how generous is the main act. Are they okay with an opener that may be better than they are.
I did start to notice, long 'bout the mid '70's, the opening acts DID start to be "genre specific" and more "genre-label specific". Like----
A '76 concert that had JAN HAMMER opening for Mahavishnu Orchestra(their "Inner Worlds" promo...) and then the SHAKTI line-up of John McLaughlin opening for WEATHER REPORT('76--"Black Market" promo). All on the same label, or at least one or the other on a label's subsidiary.( Mahavishnu on Columbia, a CBS records label, and Hammer on Nemperor, both Sony music arms... and Weather Report too, on Columbia). Whitefang
Jack Johnson opening for The Eagles, Dec 7 2018 in Honolulu. The best part Jack, being a North Shore native, brought just about every North Shore musician to join him on stage. If we knew he was going to do that we would have camped outside his house waiting for him.
My older co-workers used to tell us about the crazy bills they saw here at the local event hall (otherwise famous for later hosting televised pro wrestling) in the late '60s and early '70s. There was a show there almost every night and it was packed because people just knew to go... it sounded awful (as a kid I called it the giant Gomer Pyle building, because it was an enormous version of those huts that Gomer and the Marines lived in on the show) but everybody was too drunk and stoned to care. Hendrix famously had a meltdown onstage, there, unhappy with the new amps he'd just gotten as an endorsement deal and said into the mic (there's recordings of the show) "SUNN amps are terrible..."
Anyway, acts on their way from New Orleans to Texas or vice versa or Memphis or wherever would converge... so the stories go that they'd show up to see a show that headlined by somebody like CS&N or America and the opener would come out and it was some band called Black Sabbath... just completely at odds but passing through town on the same night.
Another guy told me was working on the crew at the university basketball arena for a show the SGA booked for Jackson Browne, early on, who showed up with just David Lindley... but the band booked by the agent to open the show was The Doobie Brothers. He said Browne was very cool and had them reverse the order of the show... so he went on first but after the crowd was there, and told the crowd to stay because a good full band was going to play later and rock the house. He also said The Doobies were loud as hell...
Yeah, I once(or twice) told the tale of a buddy asking me if I wanted to go see BLACK SABBATH 'cause he had an extra ticket due to his girlfriend getting sick and unable to go. I didn't( and never did) care for Sabbath and turned him down. I found out a couple days later that YES opened for them! Had I known that ahead of time, I would have gone! But, I'd say those two bands weren't really on the same page. Whitefang