New tech startup asks the question ‘How are they live?’


A tech startup specializing in user-based concert reviews launched its new mobile app this week.

ShowScoop, based in Salt Lake City, is a social network for concert-goers built around the question, “How are they live?”

Micah Smurthwaite, ShowScoop’s founder and CEO, said the concept behind the website came after years of going to concerts and not wanting to be disappointed in a band or artist’s live show.

ShowScoop’s new mobile app lets users review concerts while at the show. (Courtesy of ShowScoop)

“Everyone’s been to a show where you’re either surprised by how good the artist is, or you’re disappointed,” Smurthwaite said. “ShowScoop’s biggest advantage is that it allows people to check out a band before spending money on a ticket to a concert or festival, so they can know what to expect.”

Users can rank a show based on four categories: stage presence, crowd interaction, sound quality and visual effects, and write a detailed review of their experience.

Smurthwaite, a recent BYU graduate, said the new mobile app, available for free on iOS, makes reviewing concerts even easier.

“We live in an increasingly mobile world, so the real-time aspect of the app is key,” he said. “If you can write a review while you’re at a show or festival, it makes the whole experience more convenient for the user. If you have to wait until you get home, it can be more difficult to remember specific details of your experience at a given show.”

Colin Rivera, BYU student and lead singer of local band The Lovecapades, said he can see how the app can be an advantage to bands.

“It almost does the same thing for artists that something like RateMyProfessor does for teachers,” Rivera said. “It’s a great platform to extend your reach and can also help artists get direct feedback from fans about what’s working well and what needs improvement in your show. And if you are a smaller band who puts on a fantastic show, it can help you gain credibility and new fans.”

Kaitlyn Turner, a communications disorders major from Raymond, Alberta, said the website is a perfect resource for money-strapped college students.

“With my limited amount of funds, the website is a good way to find something that is worth my while,” Turner said. “If I’m going to invest in a concert, I want to make sure I’m going to have the time of my life.”

Turner added she hopes ShowScoop will catch on with the college crowd and become an integral part of the concert-going experience.

“It’s a really neat concept, it just needs to become more popular to generate a bigger database of reviews,” she said. “But once it catches on, I think it will really help people who love music find the best shows out there.”

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