The Top Apps for Going to Concerts

SKMost concert apps are similar, using show listing databases combined with your phone’s GPS to find local concerts coming up. But if you’re trying to find a concert at the last minute or get tickets before a big show sells out, there are only a few apps that will truly do the job and enable you to get your tickets on time. Here is a list of free and reliable apps for various platforms that will help make sure you never miss another great show. (One will even let you find out what you heard.)

Songkick Concerts (web, Android, iOS, Spotify)
The oldest and most widely used app out there, Songkick Concerts is available for the Spotify app as well as the main mobile platforms. For iTunes and Spotify users, this is one of the best choices — it can track the artists in your iTunes library and on your Spotify playlists. It can also track your favorite artists on Pandora, Facebook, and your Last.fm profile, and you have the capability to edit the list. (After all, almost everyone has stuff in their music library they’re not interested in seeing live.)

From there you can create a very detailed calendar of what you plan to see and export it to Outlook, iCal, and Google Calendar. Then, you can also turn on a feature in the Account Settings to put your upcoming concerts in your Facebook timeline to show off where you’re going to be. Though Bandsintown say they track more concerts than anyone, Songkick comes in very close.

Bandsintown (web, Android, iOS)
This is a fairly standard concert app with all the features you’d expect, but the stand-out is Concert Cloud. This lets you load up artists you keep track of and see who has concerts in your area, with a slider control at the top to determine how many artists you want recommended versus the ones you already follow. The closer an artist is to the ones you already follow, the darker their label on screen. This is one of the best show recommendation tools out there, though of course your results will vary depending on what you listen to.

There are also the usual recommendation features (including integration with last.fm and Pandora to improve the recommendations) as well as the ability to find shows based on your location, get directions to venues, and links to get tickets. (The app will send you directly to the official sellers, so you can get your AC/DC 2015 tour tickets as soon as they go on sale, or whatever big-name show you’re eyeing.)

Overall Bandsintown has very comprehensive listings, including shows at a number of smaller venues and festivals. Based on other people using Bandsintown, you can also get a partial list of who’s going to be at the show. Finally, there’s a Spotify listening link where you can hear unfamiliar acts, so you don’t have to come up short to the usual 30 second samples.

Setlist.fm
If you’re a heavy concertgoer, pretty soon the shows dissolve into a blur. They may have been a great time, but it’s hard to remember what the name of that new song was. This is where Setlist comes in.

Setlist.fm is a user-generated setlist database. A setlist, as you know, is the list of each song in a given band’s set that night. While Setlist.fm doesn’t have every show listed, they cover the big acts and many of the smaller ones as well.

For the most comprehensive setlists there are also tiny notes that list whether two bands were collaborating on stage, or whether one song was a cover.

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