Music Article

Summer's other best opening acts

This summer, the best show may just be the act before the headliner

1. 5 SECONDS OF SUMMER

Opening for

One Direction (June 13--Aug. 10)

Why are they great?

Though the Australian dreamboats don't have an album yet, their spry pop punk — think Ed Sheeran with electric guitars — is already winning fans.

Start with

The jangly shout-along ''Out of My Limit''

2. JOEY BADA$$

Opening for

Wiz Khalifa and A$AP Rocky (July 17--Aug. 11)

Why is he great?

He isn't even old enough to drink, but Bada$$, 18, is Brooklyn's next big thing, carrying Biggie Smalls' torch as the borough's most coolly laconic and head-trippingly erudite rhyme spitter.

Start with

The dramatic, breathless single ''Unorthodox''

3. FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS

Opening for

Dave Matthews Band (July 2--3)

Why are they great?

These bubbly L.A. new-wave mavens are joining DMB for a couple of dates. Songs from their newly released More Than Just a Dream are infectious enough for sing-alongs and won't intrude on your hacky sacking.

Start with

The thwarted-love jam ''Out of My League''

4. FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE

Opening for

Taylor Swift (Aug. 1--3)

Why are they great?

The kids can have Swift's dear-diary drama — the grown-ups accompanying them will be raising their glasses to the good-time vibes on the band's breakout single, ''Cruise.''

Start with

The sunshine-kissed ''Get Your Shine On''

5. ELLIE GOULDING

Opening for

Bruno Mars (July 1--Aug. 15)

Why is she great?

Goulding's haunting, soulful hits like ''Lights'' and ''Anything Could Happen'' are the perfect transition from real life to Mars' funk factory.

Start with

The current single, ''Explosions''

6. HOLY GHOST!

Opening for

New Order (July 19--31)

Why are they great?

Before post-punk icons New Order run through their wide catalog of rhythmic gems, Brooklyn duo Holy Ghost! will spin their ''Blue Monday''-inspired swirls of synth darkness.

Start with

The hypnotic ''Hold My Breath''

7. LORD HURON

Opening for

Dave Matthews Band (Aug. 30--Sept. 1)

Why are they great?

DMB's eclectic sound allows them the leeway to pick tour partners this summer as disparate as nu-bluesman Gary Clark Jr. and Snoop Lion. Lord Huron's stately dream-folk fits right in the meaty part of that curve.

Start with

The world-beat-minded lighter-raiser ''The Stranger''

8. AUSTIN MAHONE

Opening for

Taylor Swift (Various dates in June and July)

Why is he great?

The 17-year-old Texan works Bieber-style magic on tween hearts thanks to slick, attitude-packed pop jams like ''Say Somethin.''

Start with

The swaggerific ''Shawty Shawty''

9. NICO VEGA

Opening for

Imagine Dragons (Now--June 3)

Why are they great?

The Los Angeles quartet, fronted by the lovely and mysterious Aja Volkman (wife of Dragons singer Dan Reynolds), blend big guitars and streamlined, cinematic pop production.

Start with

The fuzzy, furious ''Gravity''

10. CHRIS YOUNG

Opening for

Brad Paisley (Now--Aug. 31)

Why is he great?

Don't be fooled by his vanilla-dull name: Young has been racking up country chart-toppers. Watch him roll through those smashes as a run-up to his fourth album, due in September.

Start with

The hands-up stein-tipper ''Save Water, Drink Beer''

Originally posted May 24, 2013 Published in issue #1261-1262 May 31, 2013 Order article reprints
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