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Venue Spotlight:The Fillmore Philadelphia

This may be hard to believe, but it’s already been almost a year since Philly was rewarded with the coveted title of being Number One Music City in North America, a honor that was named to us by online ticket retailer, Vivid Seats. Although we witnessed the sad closures of North Star Bar and the Legendary Dobbs (which, back-in-the-day hosted groups like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Green Day) during that time, other venues in (TLA, Coda, a revamped Boot & Saddle, just to name a few) and around (hey there, BB & T Pavillion) the city have stepped up their live music game to make sure that we finally get to maybe keep a title.

Of course, a lot–if not most–of the credit for this ravishing accomplishment belongs to The Fillmore Philadelphia (29 East Allen St, 19123), who are also celebrating a milestone–their one year anniversary this Saturday, Oct 1st. Since The Fillmore opened it’s doors last fall, we’ve gotten to rub elbows with many music artists from all walks of life, including Bush, Garbage, Disclosure, Gary Clark JR, Kurt Vile and the locally legendary Hall & Oates, whom not only helped kicked things all sort of off with that very first show, but have been back to display their love quite a few times to a Philly venue that has shown no signs of slowing down anytime soon. 

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Sitting on top of its reinvented AJAX Metal Factory roots, the Live Nation owned entertainment hot-spot has become a shining staple of Philly’s red hot and rising Fishtown area. Besides being home to an electrified main room that holds approximately 2,500 thirsty live music fans, it’s also home to The Foundry, a 450-capacity “club within the club” that has hosted some of the most chilled out music acts that have ever graced our headphones including NYC’s The Knocks and Lion Babe, down-home crooners Levellers(who’ll be there tonight) and Questlove of The Roots fame, who’s certainly made The Foundry his resident place of werk…and that he most certainly does, because that’s just what you do whenever you step a fancy music foot inside The Fillmore Philadelphia

But If that’s enough of a fabulous night out for you, deluxe food-and-beverage offerings are available all around the AJAX Lounge (got craft beer? You do now…and lots of security to go along with it), while that one-of-a-kind City of Brotherly Love-centric vibe is laced all throughout the place, including in the stunning chandeliers that will illuminate your soul, and there’s also the LIVE mural that anyone who’s attended a show at The Fillmore just can’t live without taking a picture of it. Then of course, there’s those trademark graffiti tags on the inside walls, which not only survived the multi-million dollar live music nip/tuck, but have withstood the sands of Philly time, which is truly something very special. 

Those chandeliers, though...

Those chandeliers, though…

However, what it all comes to is this…with an upcoming fall roster that includes Jim Breuer, Violent Femmes, M83, Umphrey’s McGee, Tegan & Sara, Alessia Cara (tonight!), The B-52’s, and many many more, you must go see a show at The Fillmore to see–and most importantly..hear–what all of the fabulous fuss is about. But if that’s not to convince you to grab those tickets, Live Nation operations manager Matthew Ricciotti stopped by Philly Mixtape it spill all sorts of Fillmore tea, which is guaranteed to get you even more ready for this smokin’ hot venue that is just getting its live music party started. 

Check it out…then go. 

Kicking things off, there’s no denying that The Fillmore has certainly given new life to Philly’s live music scene, why do you think that is? For me, the Fillmore gave me new life. I first heard about the project from friends who work for Live Nation. They thought that I would be a great addition, which made me look at where I was in life and what I wanted my next step to be. My first day at the Fillmore was just about a month before we opened the doors. The flooring was going in, the chandeliers were being installed. No sound or lights for stage were in just yet but you could tell the place was going to have that cool factor. When we opened the doors on October 1, immediately people fell in love in with the place.

Who’ve been some of your favorite acts that have performed? Any ones that you hope will stop by? I have a wide range of musical interests, but seeing Disclosure’s production was a big highlight. Others include Joe Walsh who still is at the top of his game, Travis Scott mostly because it’s probably the closest I will ever get to Rihanna and Troye Sivan with his massive following. I always love to see older bands that get back on the road. While I doubt you would ever see Guns N’ Roses playing our room, we have a lot shows coming up in both the Fillmore and the Foundry.

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What would you say is the most important that Philly in general needs to keep its live music scene growing? First and foremost the fans, because without them Philly couldn’t sustain the amount of venues it currently has. The city itself is growing every day, whether it be transplants from other cities or kids moving away from home for the first time for college. The fans keep us going; the fans keep us in check.

Can you spill a little bit about what The Fillmore has in store for the fall and beyond? We have a wide range of shows from Good Charlotte, Bridget Everett and Kurt Vile. We have so many shows between now and New Year’s that I question when and where I’m going to sleep. moe. is returning to host Halloween weekend. We even have an event on Halloween Night for everyone—we’re going to have a Roller Skating/Dance Party in the Main Music Hall with some local Philly DJs you may know. We’re also doing a community event earlier in the night to provide a safe trick or treating experience for the kids in the Fishtown neighborhood.

Lastly, what is one thing that both The Fillmore and The Foundry are doing that are keeping them well ahead of the pack?We’re constantly striving to be the best. We come up with new ideas on how to enhance the overall fan experience every day. Whether that is creating additional seating, adding local flavors to our food menu or adding artwork to our spaces. Currently we have art being installed by Tiny Room for Elephants, so look for that next time you come to a show!

For much, much more on what’s coming to The Fillmore and The Foundry, check this out right now. 

Cover photo courtesy of www.visitphilly.com 

LIVE Mural Photo courtesy of www.ewingcole.com 

Disclosure/crowd photo courtesy of Philly Mixtape 

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Forgot About Friday/Brooke Hogan

Picture it….2006…..Justin Timberlake was bringin’ “Sexyback”……….Beyoncé had us all living that “to the left, to the left,” life….people were just starting to pay attention to then U.S. Senator Barack Obama and Brooke Hogan was crushing hearts on Hogan Knows Best and destroying the Billboard charts with her music career. 

Okay, so that last statement may be a bit of a stretch, but Ms. Hogan was on that show and did have a music career that lasted for about…ten minutes, which is why she’s the perfect diva to set off another fresh round of Forgot About Friday

Growing up with The Hulkster, Brooke decided to steer away from wrestling and instead surrounded herself with music provided by the Isley Brothers, Earth, Wind & Fire, Whitney Houston and Toni Braxton. Catching that not so elusive entertainment bug early, B started taking piano lessons at just five years old, eventually going on to add dancing, cheerleading and voice lessons (??) to her ever-growing entertainment resume.

After landing an opening spot on tours for Hilary Duff and Backstreet Boys, Brooke recorded her first single, “Everything to Me” in 2004, the same year the Hogan family was spotlighted on a VH1 television special that would eventually become the show you loved-to-hate-to love….Hogan Knows Best. Of course, Ms.Hogan’s fame skyrocketed and the world would not only get to see the eldest Hogan sibling spat with her overprotective father (and brother, hey, Nick) but it would also document her thirst for becoming the next great pop diva. We would no sooner get to see esteemed 2006 music producer Scott Storch (Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, 50 Cent) take the young diva under his wing to record her first record, Undiscovered, which included collaborations with Nelly Furtado, Beenie Man, Cam’ron and future long lost music subjectPaul Wall, who teamed up with Brooke on the record’s lead single, “About Us.” Remember? Of course you do…Linda. 

However, since this is an FAF music life we’re dealing with here, all good things must come to an end, and that they did (very quickly, mind you), when by mid-2008, Brooke’s family had disintegrated on TV, leading to the cancellation of HKB and the divorce of her parents. Having just turned 20 years old at the time, Brooke transformed her newfound independence into another reality TV series, Brooke Knows Best, which launched that summer….and lasted just that summer. But before her career left us, she did serve us with her sophomore set, The Redemption, which was more of the same pop fluff, as evident in gooey tracks “Strip,” “Handcuffed” and “Hey Yo,” which pretty much sums this reinvented Forgot About Friday experience all the way up. 

Cover photo courtesy of www.inquisitr.com 

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Groove of the Day/Mary J. Blige/”Family Affair”

While it certainly looks like we’ll be searching forever as to whether the hateration and the holleration in the dancerie will ever cease, what we can do is watch Ms. Mary J. Blige interview Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton and celebrate no more drama in our lives. 

Go right here to watch and then…..happy weekend! 

Cover photo courtesy of www.she knows.com

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