Vivid Seats, a website for buying and selling music, sports and theater tickets, recently compiled a list of the 20 best North American cities for live music. It should come as no big surprise that Philly was at the top of that list. They analyzed factors like number of concerts and average ticket price for upcoming shows to rank the cities, all of them being from the U.S. except for Toronto. They noted that Philly was particularly great for genres like alternative, blues, jazz, country and folk.
We know in the City of Brotherly Love that musicians and music lovers of all kinds will always have a home. While we have seen the closures of the North Star Bar and the Legendary Dobbs (which, in its heyday, hosted groups like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Green Day), other venues have stepped up to carry the torch. Take for instance, the brand new Fillmore Philadelphia, which has already held amazing concerts like Hall and Oates, Frank Turner and Gary Clark Jr. And of course, Philly has fostered some homegrown greats, like indie heroes Kurt Vile and the The War on Drugs, and hip-hop mainstays like The Roots, who perform in living rooms across the country every night as the house band on The Tonight Show.
The music world is taking notice. As Ticket music writer Tom Beck wrote earlier, “in April, Noisey wrote that ‘It feels like all the bands are from Philly at the moment.’ And then, when Rolling Stone named Philly band Hop Along’s latest album one of their 45 Best Albums of the Year So Far, it wasn’t without a ‘What’s up with Philly lately?’ shoutout to the City of Brotherly Love.”
For East Coasters, Philly shows can be a much more intimate experience than anywhere else. As a native New Yorker who relocated to Philadelphia for school, I felt much more up-close-and-personal here with both my favorite bands and their dedicated fans. This was especially important with bigger acts like Arctic Monkeys and Muse, who have played at the Mann Center and Wells Fargo, respectively. Madison Square Garden in New York, on the other hand, is often just too packed for you to feel like a part of a show.
With its niche and eclectic spaces — from West Philly’s energetic underground punk/indie scene to the reopened Boot & Saddle on South Broad Street — Philly’s music culture is still thriving. Nashville, eat your heart out.
Check out Vivid Seats’ infographic below to see how we stack up to other city’s including Boston, who is No. 2, and New York at No. 10.