Sure, there are plenty of shows lined up at the mega-centers of Philadelphia entertainment — the Wells Fargo Center and the Susquehanna Bank Center — but how about a venue with personality? One with an organic mix of national and local acts? One without a bank in its name? Philadelphia is lucky to be home to a great list of venues for those looking for everything from punk to Pavarotti. When you are looking for a place to unwind with some quality tunes, order yourself some tickets to one of these haute Philadelphia-area venues.
The Mann Center for the Performing Arts
Perched on a green hill in the middle of Fairmount Park, this outdoor venue offers a diverse line-up every summer paired with a stunning view of the city skyline. Catch one of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s summer concerts (followed by fireworks) or a concert by venerable names like Cake or Tony Bennett. Accent your concert with a picnic in the grass; concert-goers can bring their own baskets or pick up gourmet goodies at Stephen Starr‘s Crescendo.
The Mann Center for the Performing Arts is located at 5201 Parkside Avenue, Philadelphia, 215.878.0400, www.manncenter.org
World Cafe Live
What’s better than one outstanding venue? How about two? Perched on the University City side of the Schuylkill, Word Cafe Live is home to Upstairs Live, a tiny cafe-type space perfect for acoustic gigs, and Downstairs Live, a larger, more traditional stage. Both spots feature a bar and food menu, making a simple concert into a full night out. Coming soon: The English Beat, Marina & The Diamonds and Joe Trainor Trio.
World Cafe Live is located at 3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, 215.222.1400, www.worldcafelive.com
When big names want a more personal experience with their fans, they book at The Troc. The space has been around forever — 1870, actually — and has been dedicated to music in various forms, including vaudeville and dance, since the get-go. These days, it’s the spot for a drink on the balcony and a great show where you can feel the sweat. Grab tickets for upcoming shows like The Mighty Mighty Boss Tones, La Roux and, this Friday, some old skool Public Enemy.
The Trocadero is located at 1003 Arch Street, Philadelphia, 215.922.6888, www.thetroc.com
The Tin Angel doesn’t look like your average concert space, but perhaps that’s why so many music fans have it on their favorites list. Tucked away on the second floor of Serrano restaurant in Old City, the room is a small platform stage, some locally produced art and a series of tables and chairs. These simple fixtures, though, are what allow the often-local singer/songwriters performing to shine so bright. Swing by shows by Adrein Reju, Jeff Kessler or Ben Arnold.
Tin Angel is located at 20 South Second Street, Philadelphia, 215.928.0770, www.tinangel.com
The centerpiece of the quaint, Tudor-themed Keswick Village in suburban Glenside, the Keswick is truly one of those places with a show for everyone. Known for its comfortable atmosphere and killer acoustics, the space had a minor struggle for renovations in the past but thanks to area supporters its ready for the next few decades of talent. Upcoming shows include Mary Chapen Carpenter, Todd Rundgren and JP, Chrissie & The Fairground Boys.
Keswick Theatre is located at 291 Keswick Avenue, Glenside, 215.572.7650, www.keswicktheatre.com