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The Best Concert-Finding Mobile Apps

Courtesy of BandMate

A few months ago, I reviewed a handful of new apps that show you which bands or artists are playing in your area. Some of those apps were hit-or-miss, and some have made some improvements since my initial review. This week All Songs Considered co-host Robin Hilton and I have pared the list of apps down to our two favorites. (You can hear us talk about it on the weekly series All Tech Considered.)

I see a lot of live bands. So far this year I've gone to nearly 300 shows. For the crazy, out-every-night concertgoer the best app is Timbre. It's snappy, fast, concise and elegantly designed. As I initially reported back in April, if I click on an artist, it immediately plays a clip of music (though you can turn that feature off). You can search any city for any date, which is great for traveling. You can also buy tickets, share show times with friends and add the events to your phone's calendar. And since it shows you nearly everything that's playing in the area, you can easily discover bands you've never heard before.

Robin doesn't have much time to see shows like I do and just wants to see bands he already knows. The best app for that is BandMate. BandMate scans your music library and tells you which of the bands in your library are playing in the area. If you have a massive music library (Robin has nearly 30,000 songs in his), the app can be a bit slow to build its database. But once it does, just like Timbre, it'll let you listen to the bands, watch videos, read bios, see their Facebook pages, buy tickets and more. And, if you don't want BandMate to curate a list of shows for you, it'll show you everything in your area, and even has a more complete list than Timbre.

Got another app you prefer? Tell us about it in the comments section or tweet @allsongs.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.