So the title should just about explain what this post will entail. If you don’t follow, I’m not sure I can help you to understand. Anyway, every now and then, you’ll hear that two moderately well known bands or two giant acts are going on the road together, but honestly, even those are few and far between. Why is that though? A few reasons come to mind, some of which make perfect sense for an artist or band, and some that defy logic.
1. Scaled down production: This is one of the big ones. A large number of bands these days bring out giant lighting rigs and elaborate stage shows. Some don’t require it, but honestly, if I’m paying fifty dollars for a show I don’t want to just watch a band standing up there with no cool show. Now, say you go on tour with another big name, and as luck would have it, you play first in the day. Even though you likely get similar timed sets, you must scale down the production to make way for the closer. Soundgarden had to do something similar on the tour with Nine Inch Nails, but in Sg’s favor, they aren’t really known for a giant stage show.
2. Playing first: Many bands have ego’s. This is nothing new. You worked your ass off your whole career and now you’re playing the 7:45 slot before someone else. It’s even worse if it’s an amphitheater tour and you’re playing during sunlight hours. But, in my opinion, the opening band in a co headlining band has everything to win and nothing to lose. Say you come out and absolutely blow the band following you away(I’ve heard this in regards to the ongoing Deftones/ Incubus tour where Incubus closes). You have all the chances in the world to kill your set, and if the closer doesn’t bring it, everyone is walking away wishing the night had went out on a high note. On the other hand though, if you have an off night(as everyone does from time to time) and you’re the first co headliner, everyone has forgotten about you, so almost no harm no foul
3. Fans missing you: This is probably the biggest reason I can think of. If someone can’t show up until 8 or 8:30, they may very well miss the first of the main attractions, which is horrible, especially if you’re more of a fan of the opener. I’m sure this happens, but as a band you want everyone to be able to see you if they want to. But as we all know, life happens and sometimes you can’t help it
1. Double the audience: Referencing the NIN/ Soundgarden tour again, Sg is a very well known band, but I’m not sure how if they could have played a bigger size amphitheatre on their own. Thus, a co headlining tour with an even bigger band helps in a multitude of ways. For one, every date on that tour sold out, giving both bands the chance to play to full houses. Secondly, it’s a good beat to think that some Nin fans found themselves really digging SG(Which is good for everyone), just in case they weren’t super keen on them before then. Lastly, if band plays a venue and it doesn’t sell out, you lose money, which no one wants. Touring with another large act ensures that more people will come, which again works for everyone
2. Future collaborations: When bands tour together, you find out things about the other act. This helps the creative process in more ways than one. First, you might find new people to explore music with and create new music. Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age have both became frequent collaborators after their first of two co headlining tours. Secondly, playing with an equally good band forces you to get your show to be perfect, which again, is a plus for both.
3. NEW AUDIENCES: Artists want new audiences, but let’s be honest, a lot of people who love the Smashing Pumpkins probably wouldn’t go see Marilyn Manson on their own, and vice versa. I know tons of people who love the Pumpkins but hate Manson. This gives you the chance to wow a whole new audience you normally might not reach.
Anyway, yes band’s should take the chance more often, because as you can see, it helps everyone, and it’s great to see two awesome bands for a little more than you’d pay to see one of those same bands. Have a great day, see you Friday!
Landon Murray is a published writer and an avid lover of music, books and films. He's also a lover of the New Orleans Saints. He was born in 1982 and has a chainsaw tattoo on his arm.
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