you gotta BEAT the man, WHOOOOOOO!” -Ric Flair
If you like wrestling you’ve heard the “dirtiest player in the game” say this at some point…..but I’d like to change the meaning of this from a large gold belt to something new – opening band/direct support mindset.
So here’s the thing, this is an easy saying and would easily be translated as – To be know as the best one this tour you must out do the best and topple them, pull a Metallica opening for Ozzy, upend the king you could say. That’s what the crowd will see at the end of the day, but that’s not what I want YOU to think. Ya see, I think you should go to that as thinking that YOU’RE RIC FLAIR from the word go.
You get on stage an hour and 20 minutes before the headliner, but you’re there to show your swagger and tell he audience “the headliner is playing right now assholes! You’re in luck, you can go home early tonight! Wooooooooo!!!!” You %110 always play like you’re the whole reason for a show, and make sure you EMBARRASS every band would ever dare play after you. After you?!?! You’re the heavy weight champion of the world! Who thinks they can work after you?!?!? MAKE THEM SUFFER!!! The band you’re opening for is older, very well known and has a massive following? Who cares, strike them down. Let the guys out back know this – you have an easy night tonight, we got the crowd riled up for ya. Hard part, you’ve gotta top this.
Yes, this makes it feel like you have distain for the band nice enough to brought you on tour or asked you to open at a local show…..but you don’t have to do that. This is your internal mindset ONLY, don’t be unpro and walk around the dressing room like you’re superman. You’re the opening act man! You act LIKE an opening act for every blinking moment you’re back stage or you’re a worthless piece of crap! Being pro goes a LONG way in any business, so don’t screw that part up EVER.
But…..when the sound guy says “ok, we’re all set” and you roll your volume knob it’s time to punish. From the first chord you, from the first eye to eye interaction with the crowd, the first jump in the air, you punish the headliner for ever DREAMING of asking them to open for you. THIS IS YOUR STAGE!!!! At the end of the show you’ll hopefully make some fans in the front of the stage, and your amazing live show PLUS your totally pro attitude backstage will make fans behind the stage too. Now put on your 9,000 feather robe, hit the music, and strut out there and show everyone WHILE you’re the man……so when the headliners watch they go “ah shit, we gotta beat THAT?!?!”. That’s the only way to go, WOOOOOO!!!!