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.
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.
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.
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!