Support Acts. A nice little add-on or an excuse for a long wait? In this feature, some of Concrete’s editors give their view of support acts and share their experiences of them.
The best support act that I’ve come across is British rock quartet Yonaka. Having previously supported Bring Me The Horizon on their European tour, I saw the band in April when they supported The Hunna at the UEA LCR. Yonaka absolutely stole the show for me, becoming my favourite artist of 2019 and I later saw them headline a gig at Norwich Arts Centre in June. Funnily enough, their support, The Ninth Wave, has become another favourite of mine. I still don’t quite understand people who only turn up for the headline act of a gig. For me support acts are a fantastic way to discover new musicians, especially when their performances are already included in the price of your ticket.
I have been a regular music concert attender since the age of 14 and ever since then I have always believed that support acts were never any good. I look upon support acts the way you might look upon a bowl of olives at a restaurant – not to everyone’s taste and leaving you hungry for something bigger and better. I have felt so strongly about the insignificance of support acts that I often don’t turn up to gigs until just before the main act comes on, because after all that is who I have paid to see. I agree that the existence of support acts is good for enabling the band to gain a bigger following, but in the 50 or so gigs I’ve been to, I don’t remember seeing a good supporting band.
A recent favourite support act were LINES, supporting Sleaford Mods, who are a three-piece post-punk outfit hailing from Manchester. They displayed a great level of energy and anticipation needed before a gig. They were a great warm-up act because they go back to the basics of what a warm up act should be. Electric. Gritty. Ferocious. Just to wet the whistle. LINES fitted nicely into the post-punk wave, capturing the likes of The Jam for the close three-piece close-knit group with the attitude of The Slits. Slits frontwoman Ari Up said these were far from typical girls. It is acts like LINES that keep the aura surrounding support acts, keeping an energy on the stage rather than making half of the audience fall asleep. A worthy wait for the pre-gig pint.