There are several apps on the store to help find live events, but few are as easy and fun to use as Tabeso. Tabeso (for iPhone but it works on iPad) scours multiple sources, making it far more likely that you'll find something fun to do on any given evening. If you're lucky enough to live in a larger city, Tabeso allows you to follow friends and artists and keep tabs on those shows as well.
Tabeso allows you to log in via Twitter, Facebook or email. If you're wanting to get social, I suggest Twitter or Facebook, depending on which you use more. If you do, it'll be easier for you to go through contacts and invite them to use the app.
As you "tab" stuff (pressing the friendly little Tabeso face/logo) your friends will see this in the activity stream. Tabeso puts sharing up front, but not in your face, which I appreciate. As time goes on, and provided your friends use Tabeso as well, this becomes a handy way to answer the age-old question "what's everyone doing tonight?"
But let's say you're in a new town and you want to find something to do. Tapping the crosshairs icon brings up a live map, instantly locating you. You can dial in events up to 100 miles away and let Tabeso round up events within the area.
Tapping on an event often brings up a photo of the performers (this is dependent on the service and data available to Tabeso), and allows you to add it to your calendar easily. Tapping the location pin icon takes you to Maps so you can easily get there. In all, it's about as frictionless a process as you'd want in an event finder.
Another handy feature, and one designed to encourage social behavior, is a sharing button. Yeah, we've probably all got someone in our lives who shares too much on Twitter or Facebook, and those options are there. But what I like (aside from sharing within Tabeso) are the email and SMS options. The app will send a link on a Tabeso page with all the pertinent details (see pic below). While I'd still like to see a map on this page, I think it's a clever way to get people to use Tabeso but also provides the info a friend would need to join you without forcing them to use the app.
If you like, you can restrict the dates for the area you are searching as well. This is handy if you're in a place for a set amount of time, and you don't care to see events going on after you leave. By default, Tabeso will pull as much as it can for the area.
There's a notifications window to help you see what your friends are up to on Tabeso, and it will alert you to upcoming events.
Tabeso has a few design quirks, but nothing so bothersome that you'll wind up cursing at the app. To go back, there's an almost-invisible button at the top left of event views. After finding events, I found it was somewhat unintuitive to get back to my main feed. But the simple act of finding what's going on around me was super simple and very accurate.
Tabeso is free, so if you're looking for events around you, be they music or classes or whatever, try it out and see what you think. You might wind up getting a group of friends to use it before heading out on the town one night.