The Crew Behind Concert Archives

The Crew

Justin Thiele Founder

Portland, Oregon, United States


The Flaming Lips / Sonic Youth / The Magic Numbers

Aug 25, 2006 Council Bluffs, Iowa, United States

Craig Sheen Software Engineer

Melbourne, Australia


Tool / Author & Punisher

Feb 23, 2020 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Alexander.Fred Marketing and User Success Manager

Dayton, Ohio, United States



Sep 13, 2009 Dayton, Ohio, United States

Phil Ruter Data Administrator

Fairborn, Ohio, United States


Festivus 10

Dec 18, 2022 Thornville, Ohio, United States

Our Origin Story

Originally published on Nov. 30, 2013

Hi there!

I thought I'd take a couple of minutes to share with you how and why Concert Archives (originally named SeenDB) came to be.

I've been really nostalgic about music over the last few months, which has manifested itself in a couple of ways. First, I got back into vinyl. I rediscovered my record collection and began trying to backfill my favorite albums. Discogs has been great for that. I've spent a crazy amount of time digging through 1990's - 2000's post-punk/hardcore, emo, etc. Luckily Portland still has a dozen incredible independent record stores. Second, over the past few weeks, I've gotten an urge to research and catalog all of the concerts I've been to.

I was going to a lot of shows in college. Around this time, I had the foresight to create a document called "bands i have seen.txt". I kept the file up to date for a couple of years but eventually forgot. Then the file went missing. I've had several hard drives crash and probably 5 different computers since then. A couple of months ago, I scoured them all to try to find that file. No joy.

But then about a month ago, I had new hope. Remember how we used to have to back up our computers 10 years ago? There was no Backblaze/Crash Plan/Carbonite. No Time Machine or Dropbox. There were CDRs. Painfully burning files onto blank CDs. I've got spindles of burned discs still stashed away of music, movies... and a few backups!

I found a disc containing a copy of my entire 'My Documents' folder from 2004. This thing is like a time capsule from my final year of college. It contains websites I built, papers I had written, and my "bands i have seen.txt" file!

Crank the nostalgia up to 11 ☺

I now had a list of (almost) every concert I had seen from about 2001 to 2004 (about 45). Unfortunately half of them didn't have dates and none had venues. Just a list of bands. With lots and lots of Googling, searching email, and flipping through photos, I was able to put together the puzzle pieces and get "bands i have seen.txt" mostly up-to-date and mostly thorough.

Two things still bothered me though:

  1. Almost every concert I've been to has been with the same handful of people. My friends probably remember details I'm missing and have photos of their own from these shows.
  2. Cloud backups are great, but what if I still lose "bands i have seen.txt" again?

And so I began building Concert Archives to try to coax my friends into creating their (and my) concert archive and to get it all into a safe, centralized place.

If you have the same fond memories of concerts and an urge to never forget, I hope you find Concert Archives useful too.

[email protected]

As Seen On:

  • Reuters
  • The Guardian
  • The New York Times
  • Newsweek
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  • Pitchfork