It's shouldn't come as a surprise the team dedicated to home tech has an affinity for audio gear, but we'd be the first to admit nothing beats experiencing a favorite band live: an intimate venue, drinks with friends, with your favorite musicians an arm's length away playing loud and clear. Or perhaps you love a stadium show, bigger, brighter and louder. And just like everything else, smartphones are playing are playing a big part in the live music scene, whether it be for hunting down tickets, discovering upcoming shows, or enhancing the music at the event...not to mention all the phone photography happening at shows...
Never again miss out seeing your favorite band, keep informed and alerted first thing with Songkick Concerts. The app scours your music collection and creates a personalized calendar of upcoming concerts using your music library's band listings and notifies on freshly announced shows. Songkick Concerts did its job of dishing venue information and ticket purchase options based on my library, and I've used the apps info to attend shows successfully. Free / Also available for Android
If you're looking to interact and connect with others at shows, Crowdstream, a social app that lets users comment and share pictures in real time during the concert might be worth a download. Even if you aren't able to make it, the apps lets you be there in spirit and virtually experience the show. It also features a show finder to keep up to date on the latest tours passing your area. Free / Also available for Android
Gigbeat utilizes Songkick, Last.fm, Rdio and Foursquare services, combining them all into one app. By scanning over your music library on your Android handset, an existing Last.fm or Rdio account, or by selecting your favorite bands, city or venue, Gigbeat creates a list of events relative to your interests. Access to Songkick makes buying tickets in app possible and with Foursquare support it's easy to check in at the rock show. Free
The master ticket retailer offers a cross platform app to buy tickets online quickly and easily. Ticketmaster searches through your music library for upcoming shows and even let's you share plans with friends over Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter. Mobile alerts keep users informed of sales and last-minute availabilities in case there are more friends interested in going. Free / Also available for iOS/Windows Phone
The alternative for buying tickets online other than Ticketmaster is Stub Hub. This ticket vendor not only sells concert tickets but offers entry to sporting and theatre events on every smartphone platform. What sets Stub Hub apart is the option to put up any extra tickets for sale through their service in case a friend backs out. Free / Also available for iOS/Android
When the mood inevitably hits that sweet spot where the band strikes up a ballad you'll want to have iLightr handy. Since fire codes and overall safety eliminates using a real lighter indoors, an app is the next best thing. Flick your wrist to open the virtual lighter and watch the flame stand up straight constantly with the help of the accelerometer. Free / Also available for iOS/Android
(Images: 1. Jason Rodway, all others: as credited above.)