I have what some might call an obsession with live recordings. Over the years, I’ve collected about 6,000 concerts—audience bootlegs and soundboard leaks as well as official releases. I’ve written previously about my favorite places to find recordings of live music. But I have also bookmarked four sites where I can find out which shows have been recorded and which songs were played.
The Artists page on etree.org lets you search for the names of hundreds of bands and see all of the live recordings known to be in circulation, by year. I’ve used it to track down hard-to-find shows and to set up trades with users who have recordings of them. There are even links to direct downloads from the Live Music Archive or the etree.org BitTorrent site if available.
Although Geetarz looks like it was created with Adobe PageMill in the mid-1990s, its wealth of information makes the design forgivable. The site includes reviews of audio and video bootlegs, focusing on the Allman Brothers, The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Dire Straits, Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Who, and Neil Young/CSNY. It includes reviews, setlists, cover art, and sound ratings for hundreds of bootlegs.
As the name suggests, Setlist.com is all about setlists for concerts. Its database contains entries for more than 100,000 concerts from such bands as Beck, Bob Marley, Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Kiss, Los Lobos, and Neil Young (some entries are missing setlist info, but you can help fill in the gaps). Can’t remember what the Rolling Stones opened with on January 18, 1973 in Inglewood, CA at the benefit concert for the victims of the Nicaraguan earthquake? Setlist.com does. (It was “Brown Sugar” by the way). You can search by band, date, venue, and more.
Sure, this setlists page is dedicated to a single band—Phish—but it’s cooler than just a list of what was played at each show. To begin with, the record for each show includes notes about the performance. Even better, each song title is a hyperlink. Click one (Stash, say) and you’ll see a list of all the shows at which that song was played, what songs were played immediately before and after it, the total number of times the band played it, the percentage of shows that included the song, and much more. You can also click on a venue to see all performances at that location over the last 27 years.