An email notification pops up on my phone: "Tickets on sale for Gogol Bordello!" Without pausing, I open the email, click the purchase link and finally -- finally! -- I'm going to see one of my favorite bands in concert.
Until I set up alerts, my ticket-buying process usually involved last-minute searches on secondhand sites like StubHub after hearing about the concert from a friend. I was rarely successful -- most of the shows had been sold out for months.
Don't be that person. There are a few things you can do to find out when your favorite bands are coming to town.
Get alerts based on your music library
This is the best thing for lazy people who love music. Songkick can scan your music library, catalog the artists you listen to and send you notifications when they add a concert in your city. And if you scrobble your music with Last.fm*, it's easy to build that follow list in one shot.
- Head to Songkick.com and sign up for an account. When you're done, you'll be redirected to your Dashboard.
- In the far right are three ways to add artists: Spotify, Facebook and Last.fm. Go ahead and log in to those accounts so Songkick can scan them. You're almost done.
- Click your profile picture (upper-right corner) and go to settings. There are two things to change. First, adjust your tracked locations. I follow my hometown and New York, since I visit often and like going to concerts while I'm there.
- From there, go to Email Notification Settings and make sure that concert alerts and ticket on-sale alerts are enabled.
If you also have a large local library on your phone, download the Songkick app. The app will scan your phone for music so that Songkick can track those artists, too.
Sign up for artists' mailing lists
It's old-school, but it works. Most artists have an email mailing list that includes updates about merch, new albums and tour dates. Sometimes, that's the first place artists will send out this information. So, if you want to increase your chances of being one of the first people to hear about an upcoming show, sign up for a few of your favorite bands' mailing lists.
Follow bands on Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat
Many artists use social media to announce tour dates and added shows, so follow them. Those announcements may even come before the mailing list email or Songkick notification.
Editors' note: Last.fm and CNET are both a part of the CBS Interactive family.