Best Places to Check Out Live Music in Philadelphia

The power of live music: it's creative, it's inspiring, and it just makes people feel good. Experiencing a live show is something that can bring people together. It's also a terrific way to see and hear terrific and talented musicians. Finding a venue to do just that is, fortunately, easy to do in the City of Brotherly Love. There are a host of great Philadelphia night clubs offering all kinds of live music experiences. If listening to bands and vocalists show off their skills is how you like to spend an evening, you'll find that Philadelphia does things right. Tap into the venues that 10Best readers favor most, places like the awesome Ortlieb's Jazzhaus.  You can get a taste of other city offerings by visiting places like the Khyber Pass, which is known for its Rock music. While many venues on the local music scene are clustered in the Center City area, know that terrific places to hear live music can be found throughout many of Philadelphia's neighborhoods. These venues open your eyes and ears to great new talent, re-energize you with favorite bands from our area and beyond, or just simply keep you entertained and interested when you're in the mood for a night out.

Electric Factory
Photo courtesy of Electric Factory


Though Electric Factory has been one of the nation's leading indoor music venues for 40 years, it hasn't even begun to lose its relevance. Hosting some of the best musical touring acts from a range of genres, the medium-sized venue is usually...  Read More



The legendary Tower Theater has been a Philly mainstay (though actually located just west of the city in Upper Darby) since the early 70s; 1972 to be exact. It began its humble days a movie theater, fell into hard times, and was then severely...  Read More



Stepping into this attractive nightlife venue transports one into a foot-tapping world of dueling pianos. live music, dancing, sing-along fun. The place itself touts itself as part concert, part bar, but all fun. Its entertainment taken to a...  Read More



Johnny Brenda's wears many hats. It is at once a bar, restaurant and, most importantly, a showcase for local musical talent. A world-class sound system and a balcony overlooking the stage makes playing at this venue a must for burgeoning indie...  Read More



Philly's premiere small concert venue, the Theatre of the Living Arts has room for 1,000, providing a more intimate alternative in Philly's music scene. The TLA, as it's affectionately known, began as an art-house movie theater in the 70s and...  Read More

Chris' Jazz Cafe


A regional favorite, Chris' Jazz Caf� has been included on Downbeat magazine's list of "100 Great Venues Around the World to Hear Jazz." Scheduled performers include both up-and-coming and established talent. The decor is old-ish and...  Read More



Once called the Arch Street Opera House, this super-historic (since 1870) building now houses The Trocadero Theatre, a rock club which books metal, industrial, punk, electronic, indie-rock and more. The theater is standing only, with some bench...  Read More



Okay, it's technically not in Philly, but it's close enough, especially if making the trek across the Delaware River brings you to a 25,000-seat outdoor amphitheater in the summer (a cozy 7,000 fit inside in the winter months). Hosting huge rock...  Read More

Union Transfer
Photo courtesy of mcvickerphotog


This newish Philadelphia music venue has already become a staple in the indie-rock scene, hosting touring bands and local groups alike. Located in an historic building in the Eraserhood neighborhood with three full bars, snacks and ice cream in...  Read More

University City
World Cafe Live
Photo courtesy of World Cafe Live


A listening room that caters to serious music fans, World Cafe Live books an impressive variety of talent from week to week, including national acts like Shawn Mullins, Suzanne Vega, KRS-One and Rickie Lee Jones as well as Philly faves like MJ...  Read More