Top 10 Concerts of 2018 – Best Openers
So this year I attended a lot of concerts and if you know me, it’s kind of my favorite thing to do. I think the idea that you can listen to an artist on the radio and then go see them perform those songs in person is so cool. Like I love Tom Hanks, but I can’t go watch Tom Hanks act out Apollo 13 on stage (although that would be dope). I can watch Taylor Swift 150 feet away from me perform songs from her massive album Reputation though, and that’s one reason I’ve always been drawn to concerts.
So over the next two weeks on this blog, I will be counting down my top 10 concerts of 2018 and highlighting a different show every day, with the culmination coming on December 31st, New Year’s Eve.
Before we get to number 10 though, I wanted to highlight some artists that I thought did the best job at opening up shows this year. The job of the opener is so tough I think because you’re literally the first (or second) person anyone sees on stage, and most of the time, no one came to the show specifically because of you. However, you’ve been tasked with the job in a timeframe of 25-45 minutes to get the crowd pumped up for the main attraction. When I go to a show, I always get there at the listed start time, because I want to see the opening act(s) and maybe discover some artists I should keep my eye on. With that, here’s who I think did a fantastic job of opening this year:
(The Struts – credit Danny Clinch)
The Struts opening for Foo Fighters –May 4th 2018 - Bridgestone Arena – Nashville TN
So I love the Foo Fighters and traveled down to Nashville to see them on their Concrete and Gold tour earlier this year and tasked with the duty of opening was a band called The Struts. I wasn’t super familiar with The Struts, but had heard a few of their songs and knew they were really going for that classic rock band sound. They got out on stage and just absolutely crushed it. Lead vocalist Luke Spiller is going for a hardcore Freddie Mercury vibe, but pulls it off excellently. By the end of their set, everyone was dancing and swaying along even if they didn’t know the tunes, which is a true showcase of an artist working the crowd to perfection. If you get to chance to see them, do it.
Songs to check out: Body Talks, Kiss This.
(Jade Bird - credit Francesa Allen)
Jade Bird opening for Anderson East – May 12th 2018 – The Vogue – Indianapolis IN
The next artist on our list is 21 year old British singer Jade Bird, who opened for Country/Folk Artist Anderson East when he hit The Vogue back in May. I hadn’t heard any of Jade’s music before arriving at the show, but I was a fan by the time her set was done. Armed with just a guitar, her fun bubbly personality, and her fantastic raspy voice, the crowd went from talking and buying drinks to paying attention to what was happening up on stage. There’s something about her that’s so authentic and you can tell she just loves to perform and play music. Also her songs are so mature and there’s a ton of depth to them. Next year she’s opening for Hozier, keep an eye on this girl.
Songs to check out: Uh Huh, Lottery.
(Charli XCX - credit Andrew Thomas Huang)
Charli XCX opening for Taylor Swift – September 15th 2018 – Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, IN
Finally on this list is Charli XCX, who had the task of opening the biggest tour in America this year, Taylor Swift’s Reputation Stadium Tour. Charli had insane energy and her songs are so bubblegum pop they work perfectly for a big setting with thousands of people. Starting with Boom Clap from the Fault in our Stars Soundtrack, possibly because John Green, Indianapolis resident and author of the novel was there, the energy didn’t stop from that point on and was a perfect setup for Swift. Closing her set out with Fancy, her collaboration with Iggy Azalea, the crowd was dancing, singing, and pumped for Camila Cabello and finally Swift.
Songs to check out: 5 in the Morning, Break The Rules
Come back tomorrow to see what show #10 is in the Top 10 Concerts of 2018!