I enjoy live music but I tend to find out about the most interesting shows too late. Often I have plans or the concerts are sold out.
I’ve mentioned some of the event websites I use to learn about shows, but I’ve long thought that there had to be a better way. I want to see a schedule for the bands I like (popular and obscure) without having to scroll through an endless list of all shows. Thanks to a tip at Lifehacker I have found the perfect solution: iConcertCal.
iConcertCal is a free iTunes plugin for the PC and Mac, and it creates a personalized event calendar for you based on your music library. It cross-checks the artists in your collection against sites like Pollstar and The List for performances in your area, and it produces a monthly calendar in the Visualizer space of iTunes (see screenshot) with links for more information.
Created by two genius EE grad students, the plug works exactly as advertised. Run the installer, start iTunes and give it a minute or two to build your custom hot list. If you have never used the Visualizer in iTunes (and who has?), finding your calendar is non-obvious, but there are only two steps:
View -> Visualizer -> iConcertCal
View -> Show Visualizer (Ctrl + T)
I can’t describe how happy I am to have discovered this excellent software. Although I can think of a few features I wish it had, I appreciate its simplicity. Shows I might have never have known about include:
1/27: Keane at the Berkeley Community Theater
1/30: Carbon Leaf at the Independent
1/31: Of Montreal at the Attic in Santa Cruz
2/2, 2/3: Of Montreal at the Great American Music Hall
2/11: Erin McKeown at Cafe Du Nord
2/13: Si*Se' at the Independent
2/14, 2/16, 2/17: James Taylor at the Orpheum
2/24: Teitur at the Swedish American Hall
2/28: Josh Ritter at the Swedish American Hall
3/1: Snow Patrol with Silversun Pickups at the Bill Graham Civic
3/2, 3/3: Lyle Lovett with John Hiatt at the Fox in Redwood City
3/9: Willie Porter at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley
3/10: Bright Eyes at the Great American Music Hall
3/17: Bloc Party at the SF Design Center
3/28: Gilberto Gil at the Fox in Redwood City
Thanks iConcertCal! Download for PC and Mac
(listings are US only and update weekly)