If I had to name my biggest obsession, it would one-hundred percent be going to concerts. I spend way too much money on concerts each year, but the adrenaline rush you get from going and seeing your favorite artists isn’t like anything else. Some of my favorite concert experiences have been Fleetwood Mac, Leon Bridges, COIN, and Bad Suns. If there is one thing I know like the back of my hand, it is Philly concert venues. So what better way to reminisce on my concert experiences than reviewing Philly’s concert venues!
The first venue I am going to talk about is The Fillmore where I got to see both Leon Bridges and Chase Atlantic. The whole aesthetic of the Fillmore is beautifully rustic and vintage, the vibe also has a western undertone. Everyone working there is super nice, accommodating, and helpful! The bar is easily accessible during the concert, and you won’t miss a beat as it is included in the back of the general admission area. There is a nice open entrance area where band merch is sold. The only downside to The Fillmore is they tend to overbook their general admissions tickets. Both of the concerts I saw at the Fillmore were relatively indie bands, at the time, with not a huge following; however, both ga crowds were packed, and my friends and I felt like we were suffocated in the masses of people. I would recommend spending the extra cash to get a ticket for the seats above general admission.
The next venue is the Theater of the Living Arts. A group of my friends and I saw the alt-rock band COIN last year at the Theater of the Living Arts. It was such an amazing environment and concert that it began our obsession with finding cheap tickets and going to as many concerts as we possibly can. The venue is compact enough that wherever you are standing in general admission, you are still going to have an amazing view of the performers. The venue is a little tight; however, they don’t overbook, and it tends to stay decently open for a concert. The venue’s aesthetic feels like a vintage movie theater hence the name Theater of the Living Arts.
Another popular Philly venue is The Liacouras Center which is a very fun and lively environment to see a concert. The Liacouras Center is located on Temple University’s main campus. Last year I got to see Jack Harlow at The Liacouras Center, and it was a very fun concert! One of the best upsides to The Liacouras Center is after the concerts there, it’s very easy to find an after-party because you are on a college campus. The venue is a massive gym, and they convert the space into general admission. Similar to the Fillmore, the only downside of The Liacouras Center is that they overpack their general admission section. When booking tickets to see a concert at The Liacouras Center, you have to remember you are at a college campus, and you run the risk of dealing with drunk college students. For this reason, I would recommend not getting general admission tickets and instead buying tickets for a seat.
The second to last venue is Union Transfer which is one of my personal favorite Philly concert venues for a multitude of reasons. I saw the indie alt-rock band Bad Suns at Union Transfer last year, and it was truly one of the best concerts I have been to. After the show, both opening bands for Bad Suns had tables for meet and greets in the entranceway. My friends and I, of course, went over and met them, and it was an amazing experience! I literally have nothing bad to say about the Union Transfer, it is a very clean and beautifully designed venue.
The final Philly venue I am reviewing today is The Mann Music Center. It’s definitely a close tie between The Mann and Union Transfer for my favorite Philly concert venue, but The Mann is my ultimate favorite. Over the summer, I was able to see Leon Bridges at The Mann Skyline Stage, and it was a beautiful experience. The Skyline Stage is all outdoors, and because of this, during your concert experience, you will have an amazing view of the Philly skyline. Last year I went to the music festival Firefly, and I have to say The Mann Skyline Stage gives me very similar vibes, just way more low-key. The general admission area is lined with merch shops and food trucks galore. I highly recommend the veggie and margarita pizza! The stage is stunning, and the lighting crew does a great job of illuminating your favorite performers! I am in love with every single thing about the Skyline Stage, and I am so sad that it is only seasonal because we live in the Northeast with winter temperatures that could kill.
Overall, I love concert experiences in general and recommend literally any of these venues because they are all amazing in their own ways!