There are many reasons to live in Philadelphia and one of those reasons is the vibrant indie music scene in the City. In recent years Philadelphia has grown to become one of the most exciting places to explore indie music. Here are just some of the great independent music venues that you really have to check out.
You must make time to head on down to Johnny Brenda’s the next time you are in the Fishtown area of Philadelphia. This exciting venue successfully combines gastro pub offerings with a lively music venue. Downstairs you can enjoy some great food and then venture upstairs to listen to a great band.
This is most definitely not a dive bar, even though sometimes it looks as though it is! It has the dim lighting and the writing on the walls, but it serves wine flights and craft beer. On the menu you can choose from such items as Kale Salad, Roasted Beets and even a BBQ Seitan Sandwich. Anywhere with kale on the menu probably can’t ever be classified as a dive bar!
Upstairs the music venue has a nostalgic turn of the century feel – unusual for an indie music venue, but it really works and adds enormously to its charm. The acoustics are great and there is always a good atmosphere. The music venue is upstairs and has a small bar and a patio area. It is good to have the outdoor space as sometimes it is good to be able to take a break from the crowds indoors. This is a popular place and it does get pretty crowded.
World Café Live
No list of music venues in Philadelphia would be complete without mentioning World Café Live. There are two music stages in this exceptional music venue. There are often simultaneous performances happening on each floor.
The Upstairs Lounge has a café serving food and drinks. The food is fine, but not outstanding. You come here for the music, but it is nice to be able to enjoy dinner here if you want to. Most of the shows are ticketed events which can be purchased in advance.
The Downstairs Lounge has a very different atmosphere as it is more like a traditional music venue. It is small so it can get very crowded on busy nights.
If you are looking for a great dive bar in Philly which books some excellent indie rock and punk bands the bizarrely name Kung-Fu necktie is the place to go. It is small so be prepared to go shoulder to shoulder to people when you are listening to a band. Be prepared for it to be crowded ad loud and you will be on the right track. They have plenty of great beer specials to enjoy while you are listening to the music.