What is a warm open?

Answered by Robert Flynn

A warm open, also known as an opening act or support act, is an integral part of many live performances, whether it be a concert, comedy show, or other forms of entertainment. The warm open typically takes the stage before the main act, setting the tone for the rest of the event and engaging the audience in preparation for the headliner.

The purpose of a warm open is to warm up the crowd, build anticipation, and create a welcoming atmosphere for the main act. It serves as a way to introduce the audience to new or lesser-known artists, allowing them to showcase their talent and gain exposure. The warm open is often selected to complement the style or genre of the headliner, providing a seamless transition between acts.

In the context of a music concert, a warm open can be a solo artist, a band, or even a DJ. They may perform a set of their own original songs, covers of popular songs, or a combination of both. The goal is to capture the attention of the audience and generate excitement for the upcoming performance.

As a warm open, the artist or group may face unique challenges. They are often playing to a crowd that may not be familiar with their music or style, so it is important for them to connect with the audience quickly. This requires strong stage presence, engaging banter, and the ability to deliver a captivating performance. They must also gauge the energy of the crowd and adjust their set accordingly, ensuring they leave a lasting impression.

I have had the opportunity to witness many warm opens throughout my experiences attending live events. One memorable warm open was at a music festival where a relatively unknown band took the stage before a highly anticipated headliner. Despite the initial skepticism from the crowd, the band managed to captivate the audience with their energetic performance and catchy tunes. By the end of their set, they had won over the crowd, leaving them eager for more.

A warm open can also be a comedian who warms up the audience with jokes and humorous anecdotes. Their role is to get the crowd laughing, creating a lighthearted atmosphere and setting the stage for the main comedian. In this context, the warm open helps to create a relaxed and receptive audience, priming them for the upcoming comedy act.

A warm open is an essential part of many live performances, serving to engage the audience, build anticipation, and set the stage for the main act. Whether it be a musical performance or a comedy show, the warm open plays a crucial role in creating a memorable and enjoyable experience for the audience.