Marching Orders

The New Pornographers – Marching Orders

And here’s a show I’ll miss next week. I don’t know what happened that crammed an entire year’s worth of concert opportunities into a five or six week time frame but that’s what’s going on. It would be a full time job just going to all the shows I’d like to see and even then I’d have to choose between a few options in different cities on some nights.

I have two different apps on my phone for live music and I like elements of both but neither one really does what I want. First of all, I want these apps to track the artists and tell me not just when they’ll be playing in my area but I want them to let me know when tickets go on sale. Anywhere. It’s too late for me to scroll through the list and see that TV on the Radio is playing tonight because I would have needed to know that weeks ago because it’s sold out.

Back in October I went out to Portland, OR, for a conference and I desperately wanted to go see a show while I was there. Of course that was the week when bands I wanted to see were near my home and while Portland had stuff going on, there was nothing I was really excited about. These apps were not much help in my scouting out the options in advance.

I think there’s a market, albeit perhaps a market of one (me), for an app that combines travel and concert options so that when you discover you’re going to be traveling, you can make connecting flights that will route you through a city where scheduling a layover will net you a great concert that you would otherwise miss. Hmm, maybe I need to flesh this idea out some more.


  1. Which apps do you use? Are they US only? I’ve been late on the band-tracking bandwagon and haven’t been to a show in ages. I need to rectify that. And I’d definitely support an app that does just what you describe.


    1. I have Songkick and Bandsintown on my Android phone, I’m not sure if they’re iOS too but they are worldwide, I saw two shows in Stockholm this week that I’d contemplate going to if I lived there.

      I suppose either of them might work better if I had my music collection on my phone but that’s not how I have it set up. They both scan your phone for your music, then automatically track those artists and tell you when they’re coming to the city closest to you. Songkick lets you add multiple cities, Bandsintown asks you to enter your location, then you can increase the radius it scans for shows. You can add bands that aren’t in your library on either app, so that’s what I’ve done. But even when I’m tracking people, it doesn’t seem to alert me about it until the week the show is happening. If I lived in any of these cities and I was looking for something to do on a Friday night, it would probably be a great app. Seeing as how I live about an hour away from three small cities, and 2-3 hours from two big ones, with little places scattered throughout, I need more lead time. I’m also completely willing to go farther for certain bands and if I’m hitting the road, I want to know all the choices. There’s NYC on a Wednesday but Philly on a Friday might be a better choice.

      Flying cross country involved connecting flights someplace and on the return especially, it was tempting to book a flight that had me stop overnight somewhere rather than get back to my home airport at 1am and then need to drive for an hour or more. If I could make that coincide with a show, easily, then why not? 😉


  2. Thanks for the tips – will look into them. I don’t have much music on my phone either, so I guess it’ll be a lot of manual listing for me too. The travel bit sounds like a great function – and not that hard to implement surely?


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