Freshman year is filled with exploration and discoveries about other people and yourself. But the one discovery which you have already made is that music is a common link to almost everyone. Whether you’re into punk, metal or hip hop, Philly has a music scene which can give everyone something they want. The goal of this article is not to tell you what music you should be listening to or what the best venue in the city is, its goal is to give you an idea of some of the more popular places to see your favorite artists.
The first place you should know about is the Trocadero located on 10th and Arch Streets. This venue is popularly used for heavy metal artists and so it is not uncommon to see their show schedule filled with artists like Devildriver, Trivium, and Venom. But by no means should you just ignore the Troc if you’re not into this style of music. There are always artists outside of the metal genre who come and illuminate the stage, such as Pennywise and Taking Back Sunday. It is one of the smaller venues in the city but the compact atmosphere only creates a more exciting experience.
The next great place to see a show is the Theater of Living Arts, aka the TLA. Also a small venue, the TLA lies in the heart of South Street, just one block up from the infamous Jim’s Steaks. The TLA normally has a very large range of artists and with its great location on South Street, it is easily one of the most popular music venues in the city. Some artists to look out for this fall at the TLA are Mae, Social Distortion, and Sugarcult.
For anyone who dislikes the small, intimate concert theater atmosphere, you may be interested in the Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing. It is a completely outdoor event and normally holds the larger musical festivals of the summer and the spring. It may be a ghost town in the winter but when the spring rolls around the pier comes to life unlike any other venue in the city. Coming up at the Festival Pier you can check out Staind and Ben Harper, plus many more.
The last venue, and easily the most popular and notable venue in the city, is the Electric Factory. The Electric Factory hosts some of the biggest names in music all year round. Artists like The Fray, Slipknot, and 50 cent. It is bigger than both the TLA and the Troc, but smaller than the Pier.
This venue creates one of the most exciting atmospheres around. It’s flashing neon lights pretending to look like an old electric factory at work adds a certain something that most other places just don’t give you.
During this fall you will see a large number of big name artists like The Killers, Atreyu, Insane Clown Posse and New Found Glory, all playing on that stage. It’s a place you do not want to miss.
Now, for all the music fans who despise main stream artists and are looking for a good underground scene, look no further than the First Unitarian Church on Chestnut Street between 21st and 22nd streets.
Sure it doesn’t really sound like a concert hall but don’t be fooled; this church holds some of the best underground music events. Bob Meadows, the singer of Philadelphia metal underground band A Life Once Lost, told The Temple News last year that the Church was his favorite venue to play in. Look for underground artists like Owen, Joan of Arc, and Our Brother the Native to hit the Church’s stage in the upcoming weeks.
There are so many places to see good concerts in the city and if their was only more room in this article I would gladly tell you about the Tweeter Center in Camden, N.J., or the Pontiac Grille on South Street. So many great places but so little room to talk about them.
Now that you have an idea about where to go see a good concert, it’s up to you to go out there and catch some shows. So go out there, dance like you’ve never danced before, mosh like you’ve never moshed before and just have fun.
Dan Capello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org