A couple of months ago, I found myself in New York with no obligations for the night and I thought I’d go catch a band at a local club. Sounded like a simple thing to do… I assumed that I could just simply walk down the street and wander blindly into the first club I passed that had a “thump, thump, thump” sound reverberating off the walls. I walked, and I walked. I then turned to social media to help. “PLEASE tell me what bands are playing around here.” Although I did get some suggestions on where to look online or in local newspapers, I ended up going back to the hotel without any ringing in my ears from the loud music I was desiring. I swore then that this would never happen again! I would be better prepared next time, even if that meant scouring the Internets for each club’s website and carefully drafting an Excel spreadsheet of clubs, bands and music types. Luckily for me, I found something that does a much better job than I could ever hope to do. Enter the magic that is the BandsInTown app!!

I’ve fallen so in love with the app, that when I go to legal or library events and someone asks me what apps I suggest they get, BandsInTown is the first thing I mention. If they love live music, and want to know who is coming to town, or who is playing in the town they are visiting, then this is the app for them. If they don’t like live music, then I just walk away…

So what does BandsInTown do exactly? Let me walk through some of the things that I like:

  1. Scans your current music collection – once you install it on your iPhone, it takes a look at your current music list and compiles a list of all the bands you have. It then will follow these bands and let you know if any of them are coming to town in the next few months.
  2. Connects to Facebook – alright, this part I didn’t really like because I am not a big fan of being forced to connect one product to another (especially Facebook… and I’m talking to my cousins who keep inviting me to accept apps from them on Facebook!!). However, I limited BandsInTown’s access to Facebook, and opted out of any of those automatic update features. I did allow it to post if I RSVP to an event.
  3. RSVP – If you see a show that you are going to attend, you can “RSVP” that show in BandsInTown and  that information can remain private in your app, or you can allow it to update your Facebook account to let others know you are going to the show.
  4. Track Specific Bands – If you like a certain band, but don’t have them in your iPhone playlist, you can enter the band’s name and BandsInTown will start tracking them for you.
  5. Alerts when Bands Sign Up for Gigs – BandsInTown will alert you when one of the bands you are following has added a show in your town. You’ll be one of the first people to know when the band has added a date in your town.

  6. See All Concerts coming to town – BandsInTown defaults to the bands you have in your music collection, but one of the best features is that it will also just show you everything that is coming to town over the next few weeks/months. This is one of those fun serendipitous ways of finding new music that you would have never found before.
  7. Spotify, Pandora and last.fm – BandsInTown will lead you to specific band’s Spotify station, or you can link your Pandora or last.fm accounts as well. That way, when you see a band that looks like it might be of interest to you, you can go check them out right on the spot.
  8. Purchase Tickets Right From Your Phone –  If you need to buy tickets for their show, most of the venues will have a link to purchase them online and BandsInTown will direct you to the site.
  9. Roam Around, BandsInTown Will Roam With You – This gets me back to my New York experience. I took BandsInTown with me to Chicago a few weeks ago and had it find me the local shows. It does so either through entering the name of the band, or through GPS. We ended up going to see Peter and the Test Tube Babies… although, one drawback of BandsInTown is that there may be more than one good band playing and then you have to decide which you want to see more. So, I had to give up seeing The Pretty Reckless in favor of Peter… but, it’s a price I’m willing to pay over the option of not being able to find any shows at all.
Perhaps the feature I like best is that the app is free! That probably won’t surprise anyone that knows me.

If you’re a fan of live music (and you should be!!) then you’ll love the BandsInTown app. Go check it out, and perhaps I’ll see you at the Bowling for Soup concert tonight!! Or, maybe I’ll go to the Social Distortion concert… or maybe New Year’s Day… I have so many choices!!