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Opening Acts

Getting there early is half the fun

There seems to be some people who for whatever reason skip out on the opening act and show up for just the headliner. My experience has been that checking out the opener is something I'm more than happy to do. I've found out about some of my favorite bands because they opened for other bands I went to see. Back in the 80s, I first saw John Hiatt and Joe Ely when they each opened for Little Feat. In fact, Joe Ely had David Grissom in his band at the time, and Grissom has since been one of my favorite guitar players.

In the 90s, it was Storyville who introduced us to Breedlove, Vallejo, Beth Black, and probably a few others. (Ironically, I came to Storyville from an ad in Musician magazine that highlighted the fact that the Double Trouble rhythm section of Tommy Shannon and Chris Layton were on the album. I only found out about Grissom's contribution later.)

Thursday night we went to see Gov't Mule. These guys are one of my favorite bands. But, opening for them was Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. I checked out a little of their stuff before we went and thought, "this could be good." I was wrong. They were incredible. She came out for her first song and started it off a capella. It takes some serious balls to do that, and the commensurate talent to back it up. She had both, in spades, and had the crowd in her hand the rest of the show, deservedly so. It did not hurt that she played great keyboards, guitar, and is fairly pretty as well. When she came out to join Mule for a song during their set, the crowd went nuts. I hope we can catch her again, she and her band are a killer live act.

Yeah, I'm going to keep getting there early for the opening act. Some have been duds, but the excellent bands I've seen have more than made up for those.

Posted 2008 05 03 at 5:21 AM

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