Using Your Smartphone for Musician Research and Concert Prep

Few things trump the live music experience. Concerts offer a glimpse into the personality and passion of a band or performer. The lights, professional sound equipment and theatrics of it all provide an experience beyond what you would get listening to music in your car or on your iPod. While we all have our favorite acts, there’s an enormous amount of musical talent out there and many of them are making regular trips to your towns to perform. So, how do you find out more about new performers or musicians you just don’t know much about or study up on your favorite acts and enter the show fully prepared for a wonderful time? Here are a few suggestions.

No app has revolutionized music discovery more than Shazam (iOS & Android; free), which enables you to identify the name of any song in seconds. Once you have found a new song that you’re interested in, head to Spotify (iOS & Android; free or $9.99 per month for Premium) where you can learn more about all of the artist’s music. While you’re jamming, try to get your hands on a Bluetooth wireless speaker to hear your music with crystal-clear sound.

Once you know what concerts you’re interested in, check out Bandsintown, the top rated and downloaded concert listing and discovery application for iPhone and iPad (iOS & Android; free). It provides personalized concert calendars for fans and offers tools to track your favorite artist or discover new touring musicians based on preference and location. When synced with Facebook, you can receive alerts when a friend RSVPs for an upcoming show.

When the good news arrives – that the band you’ve been waiting to see is coming to town – another tactic utilized by the most seasoned concertgoers is to take a look at what the group has been playing in previous gigs on the tour. A great tool to track the songs played previously is JamNotes (iOS; $0.99), which allows the live music obsessed to share and review set lists from concerts across the country.

Once the show starts, it’s fun to talk about your experience and share photos with fellow fans in real time. Bonfyre (iOS & Android; free) builds online communities specific to events, so everyone joining the conversation is interested in the subject, ensuring you are connecting with others that are just as enthusiastic about the show as you!

Finally, to savor the moment and enjoy the experience for years to come, you’ll want to be carrying a smartphone that takes sharp and high quality photos. According to CNET, the best camera phone of 2014 belongs to the Samsung Galaxy S5.

I used my Samsung Galaxy S5 to take some great photos and short videos at the Justin Timberlake concert in Kansas City on July 31. Before the concert, I used Spotify, Shazam and Bonfyre to get ready for a spectacular experience and it really helped me make the most out of it.

We’d love to hear from you! What was the last concert you attended? Did you use a smartphone or tablet to prep for the show or enhance your experience? Let us know @VZWNews!

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