I play bass for blues-rock band Fritz Montana. Have you heard of us? Probably not. But you have heard of Kings of Leon, Vampire Weekend, Queens of the Stone Age, AFI, The Arctic Monkeys, and Capital Cities – all of whom I had the pleasure of opening for at Not So Silent Night 2013 at Oakland’s Oracle Arena. So what do you do when you’re faced with playing the biggest show (yet) of your career and opening for bands you grew up admiring? You DON’T panic because you’re now reading the best and brief guide to putting on a kick-ass show built for bands bigger than yours. DON’T expect to meet every band member you’re opening for. Backstage is a wondrous place full of groupies, roadies, techies, babies, nookies, and an assortment of other things ending in “-ies,” so don’t expect Josh Homme to engage in small-talk with you just because you got your hands on a backstage pass. DO have something cooler to say to the bands then, “Dude, epic set.” You have approximately 10 words to make yourself standout from the other foolish looking fanboys backstage. DON’T begin the downfall of your sobriety until after your set. If you can’t help yourself, find that happy place between “I want to rock out” and “I don’t remember the words to the second verse.” DO bring cigarettes and copies of your music. I don’t care if you don’t smoke- 75% of the music industry does. Use them as currency, keys, joint papers, or accessories to your outfit. Bringing your music should be self-explanatory. DON’T pretend to be something you’re not. You’re an opening act, not a headliner: be humble, excited, and precise. DO tell roadies you need an additional backstage pass for your significant other/sibling/spiritual mentor. You’ll want an extra pass when you find that special person in the crowd and nonchalantly offer them a way backstage. DON’T spend too much time in your dressing room. It’s cool to be in your own room where you can dine on cheese and drink cabernet, but the night is about MUSIC – make sure you do your best to progress yours! DO push your limits. A laminated piece of paper and inflated sense of self-worth can do wonders to your confidence. You want to go into Kings of Leon’s dressing room? Do it. Just be able to play it cool if they catch and question you. DON’T hit on other band’s girlfriends. DO not hit on other band’s girlfriends. DON’T be afraid to exploit your status. You just opened for one of the biggest bands of the year- who’s to say you won’t be the next headliner? Have the audacity to take what isn’t yours, go for someone out of your league, and act a little out of your comfort zone. DO party like a rockstar: you are one. Just don’t make the rest of us look bad. You can purchase a CD or buy concert tickets here.
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