This article is part of 34th Street's Philadelphia, Curated issue. Click here to see more of our favorite spots from all over the city.

If you're looking for some music–filled Friday night plans, look no further. We've got all your concert–based needs covered. Philly is a major tour stop with a vibrant local music scene in its own right, with the right mix of small venues and larger theaters. And at many of these, you'll be close enough to touch your favorite artist.

Union Transfer

With a capacity of about 1,200 people, Union Transfer is known for featuring a wide variety of genres and popular acts, including recent performers like Rex Orange County, Interpol, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. While ticket prices vary widely based on the performer, some shows can be as cheap as $15. With a sizeable pit and bar area as well as a balcony, this venue is perfect for both the fans who want to mosh and those who want to enjoy a casual beer with the concert. The beautiful wood–paneled interiors of the 119–year–old venue aren't too shabby either. Upcoming concerts at Union Transfer for this fall include Mitski, KYLE, Porches, and more.

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Price Range: Varies by show

Address: 1026 Spring Garden St.


World Cafe Live

 Jonathan Pearson // Photo provided by World Cafe Live


This concert venue is attached to the Penn–affiliated professional radio station, WXPN, and is known for featuring local and independent artists. It sits right above Penn Park on the Walnut Street bridge, with two levels to check out. The downstairs holds around 650 people, making it perfect for smaller capacity shows, including both big names and up–and–comers. One of the crowning features of this venue is their Free At Noon option, which is a weekly free half–hour concert at noon every Friday that has brought artists like Albert Hammond Jr., Neko Case, and Hop Along. There’s no better way to spend a Friday than drinking free beer samples during a rock show, especially if you’re lucky enough to not have class.

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Price Range: Varies by show 

Address: 3025 Walnut St.


First Unitarian Church

This BYO concert venue is located—surprisingly enough—in the basement of the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia. Known to be a favorite of rock artists in particular, the cramped intimacy is perfect for crowd–surfing and moshing with sweaty strangers. It's got a cozy and intimate feel, like if a middle school cafeteria and a Tiny Desk show had a lovechild. This basement hosts some of the most high–energy shows of the city, and tickets are almost always $30 or less, making nearly every concert hosted here worthwhile. 

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Price Range: $0–$30

Address: 2125 Chestnut St.


Boot & Saddle



Boot & Saddle is a dingy Western–themed bar in South Philly, with regular concerts taking place in its small, seedy backroom. They bring in both local artists like Thin Lips, as well as bigger names like The Voidz or tUnE–yArDs. Boot & Saddle is associated with the R5 Productions, which helps promote some of the best independent rock in Philadelphia, but because it’s a bar all of the shows here are 21+. If you can find your way in, though, you'll have the chance to get up close and personal with your favorite artists in this narrow little venue.

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Price Range: $10–$20

Address: 1131 S Broad St.


Kung Fu Necktie

This two–story bar and music venue kills it with their local bands and funky themed dance nights. Located one block north of the Girard Station on the Market–Frankford line, it’s as easy to get there as it is to have a blast. Go to Kung Fu Necktie if you’re in the mood to get down and boogie at themed dance nights such as emo night, 90’s night, and female artists night or wanna listen to some rock and hardcore bands.

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Price Range:  Cover: $5–$7 | Events: $5–$20

Address: 1248 N Front St.


Connie’s Ric Rac

Connie’s Ric Rac is a performing arts venue that also serves drinks and, while they have a selection of over 50 craft beers, their “product is who’s on stage, not what’s in [their] fridge.” Coming from eclectic origins, the space used to be owned by a woman named Connie who sold a variety of “curious objects.” Check out local eats in the historic Italian Market before heading here for a night featuring local talent, including live music, comedy nights, and open mics. It’s the place to go to experience the Philly flavored music scene in all its rowdy grandeur. 

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Price Range: Drinks: $3–$5

Address: 1132 S 9th St.


Johnny Brenda’s


Photo provided by Johnny Brenda's


Johnny Brenda’s is a mainstay of the Philly music scene, hosting up–and–comers in the music world alongside their wide selection of local brews and full menu. This intimate venue packs a lot of punch in a small space, featuring a full sound system and balcony. Acts that have passed through include local rock and DIY darling Snail Mail as well as Japanese Breakfast. This venue is so happenin’ that even Justin Bieber hit it up when he was in town—you don’t want to miss out on a night here.

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Price Range: Drinks: $5–$10 | Events: $10–$20

Address: 1201 Frankford Ave.


North Seventh

Located in a converted electric factory, this music venue was opened in 1995 and was known as Electric Factory until it was recently acquired by new owners who intend to rename it. Capable of fitting over 2,500 people, the place hosts performers in a variety of genres, including pop, electronic dance, hip hop, and rock, and is also available for private events. With that size and such a wide variety of options, it’s an ideal place to see one of your favorite artists, featuring mid–level indie performers like James Blake, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and more.

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Price Range: $20–$70

Address: 421 N 7th St.



The Fillmore Philadelphia

Over 25,000 square feet in size, the Fillmore Philadelphia is a massive, state–of­–the–­art venue in Northern Liberties. Besides hosting popular artists inside the 2,500 person capacity music club, the venue also includes the Foundry, a club­–within–a–club that has its own stage and bar and the side Ajax Hall, an area reserved for private events. The Fillmore books events of all sizes, including legendary reunion tours, small indie rock circuits, and everything in between.

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Price Range: $20 – $70

Address: 29 E Allen St.


Academy of Music

Built in the middle of the nineteenth century, the Academy of Music is truly a work of art. Modeled after the famous La Scala in Milan, it's the longest–running opera house in the US and also hosts annual performances by the Philadelphia Orchestra. The Academy is perfect for enjoying classical theatrical productions with incredible acoustics. It’s the spot to go to if you want to be serenaded by masters of performance art.

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Price Range: $30–$300

Address: 240 S Broad St.


Metropolitan Opera House

Currently in the midst of renovation and slated for a December reopening, the historic Metropolitan Opera House is getting a modern facelift and will soon be able to seat 3,500 people. The House will host everything from concerts to circus–style shows, and will include several bars, lounges, and outdoor spaces. Expect the Met Philadelphia to be a hot destination come holiday season, and it's perfect place to visit when your parents pay a visit.  

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Price Range: $30–$100

Address: 858 N Broad St.


Trocadero Theater

Once a vaudeville and burlesque epicenter, the Trocadero Theater is now a renowned punk rock venue located a few blocks east of City Hall. It hosts comedy shows, both local and larger bands, and themed club nights—the most famous of which is the storied Drake night. The interior has a classic Broadway feel, with balconies and a large floor suitable for all types of performances.

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Price Range: $5–$20

Address: 1003 Arch St.


Tower Theater

Photo provided by  Tower Theater


Located in the Terminal Square, Upper Darby, Tower Theater has had a long history as a movie theater, a fire–tainted vaudeville venue, and has now existed for several decades as a concert venue. Such names as Prince, Paul Simon, and Bruce Springsteen have played here over the years, and it also was the first American venue to show David Bowie. With a capacity of over 3000, and an eclectic movie theater–style interior, the Tower Theater hosts some of the biggest names that roll through Philly.

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Price Range: Varies by show

Address: S 69th St. & Ludlow St.


Underground Arts


Photo provided by Underground Arts


This two–room, mural–covered venue brings both local talent and international celebrities to Center City. Underground Arts also hosts comedians, poets, theater troupes and other emerging artists, certainly an effective multi–use space. It has the edge of Pilam, the refined upkeep of Huntsman, and an unusual cultish following that regularly buys tickets to smaller, unknown names because the space makes it hard to hate any music played in it.  

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Price Range: $10–$50

Address: 1200 Callowhill St.


Everybody Hits

A batting cage by day and eclectic indie venue at night, Everybody Hits boasts consistent ticket prices and exceptional local bands. The space is close quarters, with intimate concerts and a vibe reminiscent of the dance hall, bowling alley, and appliance shop that the space once housed. If hitting baseballs is more your thing, you can buy 5 rounds for $10. 

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Price Range: $10–$20

Address: 529 W Girard Ave.


Theater of Living Arts

Located on the ever bustling South Street, Theater of Living Arts is a movie house turned small concert venue with a specific focus on up–and–coming artists—though a wide range of talent filters through its doors. TLA began with weekly midnight showings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and now it hosts artists from the likes of Our Lady Peace to The Struts. The intimacy of the venue also means that you can request to book it for a private event—dedicated patrons have even gotten married here before. 

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Price Range: Varies by show

Address: 334 South St.



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