5 Elements Of The Perfect Concert Mobile App

stagepage mobile app

stagepage mobile app


We know that mobile is changing live music. But how are mobiles apps evolving? Are they evolving in the right way?

Let’s take look and see with this quick trip through this Billboard article by Elliot Van Busskirk. Then I’ll offer up a 5 Elements that I think should be on the perfect concert mobile app.

The Billboard article focuses on 5 apps that are empowering fans, bands and venues owners to get more engagement out of the concert experience. Since we’ve explored the senses many times before, my favorite part of the article is the section about using apps to measure our body’s physical response to live music.

Measuring movement is an easy one. A band could also lend out gizmos for measuring heartrate, skin moisture, eye direction, or anything else the body does as a response to music, and use that as another input to then feed back into the music, lights, or both. My favorite litmus test for music is anything that makes my arm hairs stand up on end, but that’s just one of the body’s biological responses to liking, hating, or otherwise experiencing music. Doodads that can measure that stuff are getting cheaper all the time — or, if they’re not, a band could select just a few fans to get these devices, or maybe require that you let them hold your driver’s license. The point is: biofeedback, even though it’s sort of creepy, could make shows a lot more fun while literally getting the fans more involved.


Are We On The Right Path?

Elliot and these app developers are on the right path, but after reading the article and thinking through our other mobile experiments I’ve been wondering about a few things.

If we could create the perfect concert mobile app, what would be the most important elements?

What kind of concert app would revolutionize the concert experience and successfully meet the concert fans, bands and venues owners?

Is it even possible to do so?

I think so.

To begin answering those questions, I did some digging and came across these thoughts about creative thinking and innovative product design Daniel Pink who says in his book A Whole New Mind:

Not just function but also DESIGN. It’s no longer sufficient to create a product, a service, an experience, or a lifestyle that’s merely functional. Today it’s economically crucial and personally rewarding to create something that is also beautiful, whimsical, or emotionally engaging.

Not just accumulation but also MEANING. We live in a world of breathtaking material plenty. That had freed hundreds of people from day-to day struggles and liberated us to pursue more significant desires: purpose, transcendence, and spiritual fulfillment.


What Do Fans Really Want (And Need)?

I like what Pink says in other parts of his book about incorporating meaning into the creative mix because I’ve had several chats with fans and app developers like Alex with StagePage about how a well designed mobile app should allow fan to get more significance from their concert experiences.

In those fan chats one of the things that we always agree upon is that eventually in the near future, fans will quickly start to ask questions like “What does it all mean? I can take a video during a show, so what? Why did I want to snap a photo during that song and not the other? Why was I so emotional during that song? How can I explain to friends and family why and how that show changed my life?”

This are all questions I think about all the time. And I’m sure many of you have begun to ask them already in various ways.

And I predict that seeking our more meaning and significance to our concert experiences and wanting to share those emotional discoveries with our friends and family will be an emerging trend and more fans will desire to derive meaning from our concert experiences.

And that’s why we need to start thinking of ways to help fans put more meaning to the millions of videos, tweets and photos they’re producing during shows.

Here They Are

So I’d like to continue our mobile exploration and answer some of my earlier questions by sharing 5 elements I believe should be used to create the perfect concert mobile app:

1. Make it simple to measure and record. In order to foster adoption, the perfect concert mobile app should ask users to take simple steps that are a natural part of the concert experience. Give fans a way to easily enter our mood and emotions before, during and after a show. Simplicity is key to any mobile app, especially when you’re trying to get concert fans to take specific actions.

The best task management apps do a great job of making it simple to quickly record information and make it easy to retrieve it later.  I’ve been following other experiments like this one and I hope this type of mood-tracking functionality gets included in the perfect concert app.

And besides making it simple to use, this app should be fun, viral and social. More on that in a moment.

2. Make the data meaningful. Put the data in context so fans can understand how the music is making us feel during the show and how that single moment changed our life.

I’ve been experimenting with Fitbit and I love how the process of looking at my health data helps to put my other daily habits in context with a simply dashboard.

We should do something similar for concert fans.  And if bands and venues owners could access use a mobile app to get more accurate behavioral analytics about their fans during shows that would be a game-changer too.

3. Gamify.  The psychological power of using games has been proven successful in many industries and disciplines. And the concert experience has numerous opportunities to make going to a concert one of the most engaging and addictive gamified moments in our lives.

Whether it’s loyalty points and rewards offered by venue owners for fans who check-in using functionality similar to Foursquare, or letting fans compete against each other during shows for completing certain actions, we need a concert app that gamifies the live music experience and adds value too.

4. Make it social. We know the power of using social media during concerts, so this element is a no-brainer to include on this list. However, I do mention it because we’ve only just begun to realize the true potential of social media within the concert experience. And I’m talking about creating a new type of social experience with this app.

Just imagine if fans started sharing  and tweeting contextual emotional data during shows. But instead of it just being hard and meaningless data, we were able to tell a story with it and enable concert fans to share their unique story – what and why they felt the way they did during a show – with their friends, family and fellow fans.

Now that would be something!

If I could go-back and take a mood-enhanced and emotional data-enriched snapshot that showed me how the music, the crowd and my emotional response all contributed to create the “wow” during the show, I would love to see what an experience like that would reveal to me about what I felt during my favorite shows.

That’s something I would love to share on my social networks. And a story like that is way more engaging and viral than just the normal tweeting we already see during shows.

That’s why we need to have a mobile app that transforms what “being social” means during a concert. And we can do that with emotional and contextual storytelling with the perfect concert mobile app.

5. Tell a story.  We’ve already touched on this element, but I mentioned it again because this fifth element is the most important as it relies on the seamless integration of the previous four.

However big or small, the app should combine all the other 4 elements to tell the fan something new and emotionally meaningful about themselves or the other fans around them.

Whether it’s a simple data dashboard, competitive leader boards, badges, the story should be the data, a contextualization and a synthesis and synchronization of all the previous four elements.

And by bringing all these elements together we will give the concert fan the ability to understand themselves better, get more meaning fromt their concert experiences and give fans the ability to tell a complete story that can’t be told anywhere else.

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned over the year on Live Fix, it’s that we all love to listen to and tell stories. And concerts are full of stories. And the perfect concert mobile app would be an excellent storytelling machine.

What We Really Need

We’re dreamers and visionaries here at Live Fix and without a doubt these 5 elements I believe are the future of concert apps.

Yes, these are concepts. And some of these might be hard to pull off right now. But you can’t deny the fact that we have a great opportunity to engage concert fans in a way that in new and exciting.

We don’t need another concert mobile app that syncs with our iTunes playlist or finds the closest concert. There’s enough of those clogging up our mobile phones already.

We need a concert app that will truly empower fans, bands and venue owners. We need a concert app that will push the concert experience forward.

I believe we aren’t that far away from seeing an app developed that has all these 5 elements.

And once we do create the perfect concert mobile app, I wish we could go back and use it to explore and rediscover these concert fans stories again in a whole new way.

What About You?

What apps are you enjoying? What would you add to our list of features on the perfect concert app?

Share your mobile app concert experiences and thoughts in the comments below, or call the concert fan hotline at 773-609-4341, and we’ll include them in a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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Concert Preview: iTunes Festival 2012

iTunes Festival 2012 Free tickets

iTunes Festival 2012 Free tickets

Continuing our exploration of virtual live music experiences and mobile apps, here’s news about the iTunes Festival 2012, one of the most interactive and mobile events of 2012.

For 30 days in September, 60 artists will perform live in London and fans can buy tickets to the event or watch the action live on their iPad, iPhone or iTouch. You can also stream the concerts to your big screen wirelessly using AirPlay and your Apple TV.

The lineup includes a wide range of pop, rock, hip hop and other artist like Jack White, Norah Jones, Usher, JLS, Noel Galagher, One Direction and more, all to perform live at the Roundhouse in North London.

According to the iTunes Festival Website “Tickets for the iTunes Festival are free. You can apply for as many gigs as you like…” on the lineup page.

And when you sign up you are entered for a chance to win the tickets to shows at the Roundhouse, but only UK residents can score the free tickets. For the rest of us, all the performances will be streamed live and recorded for download via the iTunes mobile apps.

That said, I’ll be keeping tabs on Jack White’s World Record attempt and watching to see if another Dave Grohl moment happens this year, so I’ll be tuning in on my iPod Touch to see how the shows go. And we invite you to share your iTunes Festival  2012 stories and virtual experiences in the comments below, so we can feature them in a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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Concert Review: Lots Of Lovin’ Going On During Grouplove Gig At Metro

grouplove metro chicago bw

grouplove metro chicago bw

Yes, Grouplove has passed the live music test. And I have to give a special thanks to my cousin Matt for winning our Metro/Bears/Packers bet and wisely selecting to see Grouplove as his first concert at Metro.

Ever since Matt picked the show I’d been digging Grouplove’s tunes on their debut release Never Trust a Happy Song, a unique and clever mix of upbeat indie-pop, rock, folk and groovy songwriting with some Beach Boys Pet Sounds melodies and rhythms tossed in.

And in the days leading up to the show my curiosity grew and a whole bunch of questions started bouncing around in my head.

I wondered how they would transfer the energy of the songs to the stage.

I wondered how the fans would embrace the band live at this very early stage in their career.

Would the band’s chemistry be developed enough to captivate and amaze?

Would fans get emotional?

Would it be the same as the Gayngs and Ra Ra Riot show?

Well, Grouplove certainly brought the goods.

And fans did spread the love and feel-good vibes on many levels.

And with the sold out Metro just about ready to burst, the quintet charged through their set with reckless abandon.

grouplove metro chicago fan hugging and loving

During the show I saw many fans like the ones above hugging and lovin’ on each other in many creative ways.

Some were arm-locked, while other fans were locking other body parts during the whimsical surging anthem “Itchin’ on a Photograph,” the summertime gem “Naked Kids” and especially the encore crowd-pleaser “Colours.”

Experiencing all of this for over an hour made it hard to believe that Grouplove had been together for barely a year.

And the band wasn’t shy about their lack of live show inexperience either. They declared graciously several times that this was their largest headline crowd to date.

It was a most joyous and beautiful blur.


grouplove chicago metro matt and chris


And to top it all off I had the honor and pleasure to share the show with my cousin Matt who, I found out before the show, had not only never been to a Metro show, but had never been to a rock concert ever. Double bonus!

This was truly a scared moment, my friends.

And as I mentioned before we’re going to explore and share more as we talk with Matt about his first concert experience on a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

Until then, we’d love to hear what you thought of the Grouplove show, so go ahead and post your comments and thoughts below and we’ll include your experiences in the episode.

In case you’re wondering I took these shots with my Droid X2 and originally shared them via Instagram as part of our ongoing mobile experimenting. Follow me on Instagram by searching for “livefixchris.” I’d love to see what kinda of concert magic your capturing with your smartphone too.

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Infographic: How Have Smartphones Changed The Festival Experience?

smartphone infographic hypebot

This is a very interesting infographic via the Hypebot about the historic evolution of the smartphone and its impact on the music experience since Woodstock.

There’s some good data points in here. But what this infographic really reminds of is our chat with Alex from StagePage about mobile apps and how we need to foster more context and meaning around all the media that concert fans create during shows. I’d like to see an infographic that illustrates that conversation.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll share your story on a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

smartphone infographic hypebot

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I’m Hungry For More: Doritos Locos Tacos, QR Codes and Fan Concert Experiences




We’ve been exploring how brands are using the live music experience to connect with fans.

And when I saw the footage of Snoop Dogg performing in the super-sized Doritos vending machine at SXSW I have to say that I wasn’t that impressed because it seems like it was just another lame attempt to only market to fans with a slick  gimmick and not really add any value or innovation to the live music experience.

But since then I have to say things have changed as I’ve experienced more of the interactive content that Taco Bell and Doritos are unveiling with their recent combined Locos Tacos campaign.

QR Code That Rocks

As you can see by the photo above, the part about the Locos Tacos campaign that I have enjoyed the most is their excellent use of QR code.  I’m  geek when it comes to QR codes and this use is by far one of the most creative and well executed that I’ve seen so far.

Taco Bell and Doritos have clearly taken the time to understand their audience right down to connecting the sense of taste sound and sight in a pretty solid interactive experience.

For example, when you scan the QR code you’re taken to a url (http://SCN.BY/9T9AB0HTW8I7L7) which then takes you to a Hype Machine sponsored site on your smart phone with intro copy that says:

“You’ve got the new Doritos Locos Tacos in one hand and you just unlocked awesome music with the other. Life pretty much rocks. Discover exclusive Performances from Feed the Beat artists…”

Yes, I love how they made the double-fisted connection of having a Doritos Taco in one hand and in the other hand you’ve got the crafty copy and the live concert videos of Dale Earnhart Jr, Little Hurricane, Miniture Tigers and other bands.

What Could Be Better

However, I do think this mobile experience could be improved. It could be more interactive and create a better sense of community among concert fans and ultimately put fans right at the center of an emotionally engaging, highly sharable, and extremely viral social media experience.

For example, Taco Bell and Doritos could enable fans to tweet the similarities between their concert experiences and their Locos taste experience, and use those fan interactions to create a hashtag, Facebook page or even a unique forum community with other Locos Tacos/live music fans who are going through the same shared experience.

What Have They Done This Year?

And I see this as a possible future phase of what Taco Bell and Doritos has been doing with Augmented Reality and their $5 Big Box this year.

So far in 2012, I’ve seen how they’ve experimented with other creative applications of Augmented Reality and their $5 Big Box.

First they turned the Big Box into an interactive Street Fighter video game, which I was addicted to playing while I stuffed my face with tacos.

And then right around the time of SXSW came the next phase which involved buying a Locos Tacos Big Box that you could scan the box with your smartphone and see an AR floating cloud of interactive tweets from other customers who’ve enjoy the tacos too. And then while you’re munching and crunching you can join the cloud and tweet your own taste raves too.

What They Should Do Next

Again, this all very fun and creative. But what they should do is capture the live concert experiences of fans who are at these sponsored Taco Bell/Doritos shows and turn those tweets into a interactive game of shared concert stories.

That way fans are not only sharing the awesome taste of the Locos Tacos but they’re also sharing what their feeling during the show. Combined together these two highly emotional experiences would be extremely powerful.

And, like we’ve said before, this type of combined emotional interactive experience is a win for fans and a win for the brands.  Who knows, maybe this or some form of this idea is already in the works.

How ’bout You?

Have you used tasted and experienced the combined pleasure of the Locos Tacos and live music? What do you think of their use of AR and creative branding? What are your favorite examples of great uses of QR codes for live music fans?

Share your concert stories and thoughts in the comments below, on Twitter @livefixmedia, on Facebook , Google Plus, or call the concert fan hotline at 773-609-4341, and we’ll include them in a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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StagePage And More Live Music Mobile Apps That Rock

stagepage mobile app



stagepage mobile app



During this episode of Live Fix Radio, we’re diving deeper into our exploration of the best mobile apps for concert fans. Listen in to our chat with Alex Miller as she shares the story behind StagePage, her mission to improve how we remember our concert experiences and why she will never forget seeing the Rolling Stones live at Busch Stadium.

Subscribe via iTunes.

Show Notes:

Segment one: News and other cool stuff you should know about

Segment two (26:35): Interview with Alex Miller of StagePage and her favorite concert experiences

Segment three (56:39): Our favorite concert mobile apps

Music played during the show
  • The Rolling Stones – “Under My Thumb (Live)” – 1966
  • Chairlift – “Planet Health” Live at the Empty Bottle  –  2012
  • The Who – ” I Can See For Miles (Live)” – 1968


What Apps Are You Rockin’?

Have you used any of these mobile apps? What do you think of StagePage’s new approach to live music mobile apps? Got a question about concert fan apps or another topic we talked about during the show?

Share your concert experiences and thoughts about this podcast in the comments below, on Twitter @livefixmedia, on Facebook , Google Plus, or call the concert fan hotline at 773-609-4341, and we’ll include them in a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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Capture, Share Your Concert Story with StagePage Mobile App



Hey remeber our fun mobile experiement? Good. Well, we just found this new mobile called StagePage and you should check it out.

After a quick run through of the site and downloading the app via iTunes, I have to say this is a really cool app that’s right up our ally because it lets you capture your concert experiences in context and share your story with friends and family.

We’ll be experiementing with the app at our upcoming shows and we encourage you to do the same and post your thoughts and feedback in the comments below.

Here’s a helpful YouTube video that explain how the app works.



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Pixies Release New (Awesome) Mobile App for Fans

pixies mobile app

pixies mobile app


We told you before how the Pixies are rockin’ their reunion and now they’ve released a new FREE Pixies iPhone and Android mobile app this week.

I’ve been exploring the app the last couple days and I have to say that it’s pretty frickin’ awesome as far as mobile apps for concert fans go.  And it’s a great addition to our big list of concert mobile apps too.

I’ll continue to explore it and let you know what else I discover and I’d like to hear what you like about it too.

Here’s a run down of all the features. I’ve especially enjoyed the Fan Wall that’s loaded with fan shout-outs and requests for the band to come back to Brazil and play again real soon. Get more info on the Pixies website.

  • All PIXIES news, tour dates and updates direct to your phone
  • Free streaming of the PIXIES Purple Tape
  • Free download of the 2004 Coachella appearance
  • On-demand streaming of archive shows, including the acoustic Newport Folk Festival, Manchester 1988 and Minneapolis 2004
  • Complete tour archive including setlists, photos and videos

Got a Pixies Concert Story

Have you seen the Pixies live before? Have you tested out the new mobile app? We invite you to share your Pixies concert experiences in the comments below, so they can be included in a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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Concert Preview: iTunes Festival 2011


itunes festival 2011

Continuing our exploration of virtual live music experiences, here’s news about the iTunes Festival 2011, one of the most interactive and mobile events of 2011.

For 31 days, 61 artists will perform live in London and fans can buy tickets to the event or watch the action live on their iPad, iPhone or iTouch.

The lineup includes a wide range of pop, rock, hip hop and other artist like Foo Fighters, Arctic Monkeys, Adele, My Chemical Romance, Mogwai, Coldplay and more, all to perform live at the Roundhouse in North London.

According to the iTunes Festival Website “Tickets for the iTunes Festival are free. You can apply for as many gigs as you like…” on the lineup page.

And when you sign up you are entered for a chance to win the tickets to shows at the Roundhouse. All the performances will be streamed live and recorded for download via the iTunes mobile apps.

I know I’ll be tuning in on my iTouch to see how the shows go, and we invite you to share your iTunes Festival  2011 stories and virtual experiences in the comments below, so we can feature them in a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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Is Google Introducing A New Concert Tablet Trend?


Google Jane's Addiction After Party

During the Google I/O 2011 Googleites we’re treated to a special after hours show by Jane’s Addiction who are getting ready to release a new David Sitek produced The Great Escape Artist album soon. So how did Google employees use their mobile devices to get their rock on?

It’s somewhat of an odd show to watch as Farrell and company don’t seem quite in sync, or full of as much energy as they used to have. And I’m wondering why there wasn’t a more relevant or contemporary band chosen for the occasion?

Maybe that’s why most of the crowd seems to be more focused on recording the show with their phones than getting lost in the moment of the music. And maybe the fans thought it was a great chance to document a live music relic from the past? I probably would’ve done the same thing too.

But what I did take away from this video was the chance to continue our exploration of how mobile is changing the live music experience. Whether it’s a growing trend or not, this is one of the first shows where I’ve seen not only mobile phones popping up like weeds instead of the traditional lighters, but you can also see several tablets and other “iPad-like devices” raised high to celebrate and capture memories of the show.

So will we see more fans bringing tablets to shows, or is this just a behavior unique to Googlenation? Have you seen other fans using tablets during live shows?

Got a story from this Google I/0 Jane’s Addiction show? Be a good little concert fan and share your experience with the rest of the class.

Photo credit Business Insider

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Concert News: Kid Rock Tell-Off, LCD Sound System Farewell, Mobile Impact, U2 Picket, Ticketology Update


With the Grammys, dirty Super Bowl Halftime shows, and a whole bunch of other concert adventures going on these last couple weeks, things have been pretty busy, so here’s a special extended concert news round-up! Continue reading

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Surprise, The Grammys Are Worth Watching This Year!


Just when I was ready to write off the historically out-of-touch and one-step-behind awards show, the Grammys have pulled me back in. And we can thank social media, mobile and several timely musical nominations for making the usually irrelevant, retrogressive and disconnected TV event more interactive, relevant and interesting than it’s ever been for fans. Continue reading

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Will This Be The Dirtiest 3D Super Bowl Halftime Show Ever?


I hope. And to be honest ever since I lost my Bears vs. Packers Metro bet with my cousin Matt, I really don’t care who wins. But with the Black Eyed Peas as the Halftime show entertainment and learning about their BEP 3D 360 mobile app, I’m looking forward to the musical part of tonight’s Big Game, just so I can hear one dirty song.

Continue reading

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