Philly is such a great place to see live music, but with so many venues it is hard to narrow down which are the best. Here are five venues you should try to see a show at in town:

1. The Skyline Stage @ The Mann

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Attributed to Angie Chung under Creative Commons

The Skyline Stage at The Mann does a great job of replicating a festival feel at a concert, both good and bad.  If you are a fan of festivals like Firefly or Made in America shows at the Mann are built for you. Because of that the stage setup is nothing inspiring, and the sound can be finicky, but it is serviceable. Places to drink are never far apart, and they always have food trucks there in case you get hungry.

It certainly isn’t an experience for everyone, but those who enjoy this experience will have a good time.

However when leaving the show you will be welcomed by a breathtaking view of the Philly skyline. So while it may not be the best venue, the view makes it all worth it.

2. The Fillmore/The Foundry

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Attributed to Metal Chris under Creative Commons

The Fillmore is the newest venue on this list, just opening in 2015, but it is quickly becoming one of the premiere venues in town. The venue is expertly designed, has great sound and is in a great location.

Their area for smaller shows, The Foundry, is an intimate space where you can experience smaller acts. The ambiance in The Foundry is fantastic, with a dark feel, and an accessible bar for a more mature crowd.

All this is combined with an awesome location on Frankford Avenue with bars, a bowling alley, and a comedy club all within walking distance. A trip to the Fillmore makes for a great Saturday night.

3. Theatre of Living Arts

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Attributed to Jared Polin under Creative Commons

The Theatre of Living Arts is as Philly as it gets for concert venues. Originally established in 1908 the TLA has been a mainstay on South Street for over a century at this point.

While not being a music venue for all of its existence, it used to be a movie theatre, the place has undeniable history.  It is a smaller venue, tipping out at about a 1,000 people, but the building can get rocking in a hurry.

Then after the show is wrapped up you have all of South Street is explore.

4. The Festival Pier @ Penn’s Landing

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Attributed to Chris Connely under Creative Commons

The Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing is the ultimate summer concert spot in Philly.  Penn’s Landing gives you warm concerts in front of the waterfront present a beautiful landscape, and lets you feel the cool breeze from the water.

It is a nice change of pace from places like the The Fillmore, with its more relaxed vibe. Get your friends together, have a few beers, chill to some music, and enjoy the riverfront.

5. The Electric Factory

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Attributed to Chris Zakorchemny under Creative Commons

The Electric Factory is one of my favorite venues in town. Whenever a artist I love announces a tour, I want it to be at the Electric Factory.  The venue has been around for decades and has fielded many legendary acts, such as Jimi Hendricks. Every show I have seen there has been great whether it be Schoolboy Q, Joey Bada$$, or Run the Jewels.

The set up is simple, but unique. It is not sprawling like The Fillmore, but features a very nice upstairs area. The bars/food are limited but the stage is the main attraction here. The Electric Factory has the best sound in the list. Music fills all nooks and crannies of the building, but isn’t deafening if you are at the front.

The crowd is usually good as well, and makes the shows a blast.  Simply put it is one of the best venues in the city.

What is your favorite spot in town?

In the end, you can have a great time at any of these venues. They all have their own benefits, and are for different people, but seeing your favorite artists at any of these venues can be a joy.

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3 comments

  1. To be honest I have never been to any of these venues but after reading this blog, I definitely want to check out a few, definitely the Penns Landing one because of the view and outdoor environment. Great blog!

    Like

  2. I actually just saw Macklemore last night at the Fillmore with a couple of my friends. That place is awesome, but definitely a different kind of venue. It is really small which allowed him to have a lot of fan interaction. Definitely on the top of my list of places to see some great talent!

    Like

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