I actually like this idea a lot:
Rarely do you see venues pair professional touring bands with local high school bands on the same bill the way that FAA has done since the beginning. FAA is one of the only places in the country, if not THE only place in the country, where a high school band has been able to open for a national touring act a couple weeks after they played on Late Night with David Letterman.
The response to this has been overwhelming. Younger musicians obviously love it. They are given the chance to share the stage with some of their favorite bands. It makes them practice harder and take the opportunity more seriously. They’re on a real stage playing in front of seasoned professionals, so they have to rise to the occasion.
Surprisingly, the touring bands also seem to love it too. They see their younger selves in the high school bands and are reminded of the youthful excitement they had when they were their age. It is not uncommon to see professional musicians take the time to talk to the opening local bands backstage, give them mentoring advice, and assume a big brother/big sister type of role. FAA becomes a welcome respite for a road-weary band accustomed to smoky bars and an indifferent bar crowd.