I can't remember seeing too many shows that didn't feature some sort of opening act. George Michael didn't tour with support and it seems AC/DC are going solo on their fast approaching tour.
Sometimes an opener makes sense. Crue Fest took a bunch of support acts, created a mini-moving festival and helped hype Motley Crue in one tidy package.
Sometimes an opener makes zero sense. Case in point, the recent Van Halen reunion tour featured Bob Marley's son as the opener. That's right: I can't even remember the guy's name. No, "Bob Marley's son" wasn't bad - he was actually quite good. It's just his performance was out-of-place and largely ignored. In other words, a giant waste of time that just cost the tour more money and probably tacked a couple extra bucks on fan seats.
There are those rare occasions when opening acts actually drive tour ticket sales. I'm not talking about dual headline events, but true openers that are actually famous in their own right. The Rolling Stones had just about every famous musician/band on the planet open for them during their lengthy Bigger Bang tour. Openers included Metallica, Motley Crue and Pearl Jam. I'm sure some fans bought tickets just for opening band and then stayed for the Rolling Stones. In this instance, the opening was more than justified. Of course, ticket prices for A Bigger Bang were astronomical (pun intended) - but that's another article.
An empty room is hard for fans, too. I try to get to shows as early as possible. I don't like missing music, but sometimes this just can't be helped. Concerts happen during the week and I work. Shows are also a social experience and I like to talk to people, have dinner first or just generally not feel "rushed." Lastly, it seems - in general - people just don't care about paying attention to opening acts. At the end of the day, it's sort of like "why bother?"
What do you think? Are concerts better with - or without - opening bands?