Opening Acts: Pay to Play and Still No Doughnuts?
Another dirty little secret-to-some: bands who select an opening act they hope will make them sound better in comparison. The article suggests that this practice is likely not very common, as awful opening acts would reflect badly on the headliners.
Interesting article, disheartening in some ways, but much sweetness and light shines through. An opening slot presents a band or artist with the opportunity to have their music heard by people who (hopefully) love music. Heckling and unreceptive crowds suck, but learning to deal with them is necessary. A grueling thing, this touring business. When there's some camaraderie between bands, it must make a huge difference. The White Stripes are singled out as especially friendly, and U2 praised for paying their support bands "a fortune" and giving them no sound restrictions.
mp3:The White Stripes - We're Going to Be Friends (have posted this before, but it fits the article...)
mp3:U2 - Electrical Storm (I wish it said "no light restrictions, but you can't have everything. It has been "hot as hell" here and I've been listening to this song lately)