Ever since I started going to live shows (when you had to look at record-store fliers and local weeklies to find them), I’ve collected every single last one of my ticket stubs. Unfortunately, several moves and disappearing storage boxes have eaten up good deal of them. Without those ticket stubs to stir my memory, I struggle to recall many of the shows I’ve seen (or at least it’s hard to think of them all at the same time).
I’ve often thought about documenting the shows I can remember, and adding to the list whenever I remember another. I’ve even considered typing them out in a sterile Word document; or trying to be classy and handwriting them in a Moleskine notebook; or even starting a blog where I could add the hundreds of pictures I’ve taken from front rows. But of course, those things require a great deal of effort, so I didn’t do them.
I have a feeling I am not alone in this. We are busy people these days.
Luckily, I stumbled upon Lanyard, a killer app from RetroFuzz that allows you to create an online journal of shows you’ve been to with pictures and setlists. Use it as a personal record of your show history, or to share your memories with other users (i.e. brag to your friends).
To start your journal, or “lanyard” (like the thing that holds your laminate, get it?), search for a show by artist or event name, venue, or town.
If Last.fm has the show in its database, Lanyard will come up in the search results. Otherwise, you can suggest that the show be added, and then you can put it on your list. You can then add your own photos, your rating of the show, and/or a comment. However, you might not have to add the setlist yourself, because the app pulls those from Setlist.fm. On top of that, Lanyard will create a Spotify playlist of the songs so you can relive them (albeit with the studio versions).
As a newcomer, Lanyard still has room for improvement and growth, as one would expect, although the app has plenty of potential. At this point, it lacks many older shows, especially in smaller venues. However, once it gains more users, this app could become a giant crowd-sourced archive of live music history — again, assuming it takes hold. Videos would also be a nice addition too, as would images of handbills, fliers, and tour-specific memorabilia.
Still, Lanyard has a beautiful interface and plenty to offer as things stand, and it’s especially helpful in helping you find shows whose dates are a little blurry. It far surpasses what I would’ve been able to do with a Moleskine notebook, a Tumblr account, and my fading memories.
For those of you who aren’t keen on the idea of people knowing your whereabouts for the past twenty years, don’t worry. You can still archive your show history away from their prying eyes — just make your lanyard private.