Last Friday marked the official opening of Fillmore Philly, the seventh Fillmore in the LiveNation portfolio, with a sold-out Hall & Oates performance. Tickets were $95. Back in the mid-‘60s, when Bill Graham opened Fillmore West in San Francisco, tickets could go for $3. You could see Sly and the Family Stone, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, essentially a dollar a band on some nights. Well, that was then and this is now – fast forward 50 years later and Disclosure is set to fill the 2,500-capacity main room two nights in a row (10/19-20) for $40 a night.
Their first 40 shows booked, between here and 2016, are as diverse as humanly possible: last Friday, WXPN welcomed Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls and their grand, brash and baroque British rock; this weekend, Adventure Club headlines with bliss-kissed EDM and Brandi Carlile brings her delicious countrified Americana on the 11th. Tove Lo’s brand of playful but substantial pop will see her Queen of the Clouds tour consume Philly on the 17th; and before the month’s over, the main room’ll host moe. and the Cold War Kids. Quite a mix, no? And that doesn’t even broach the 450-capacity Foundry upstairs, where tickets will rarely rise above $20, and lots of smaller, local acts will get gigs.
“We really want to be the venue that can work for any type of artist,” says Ben Weeden, a California-based booking overseer for LiveNation. “We have the best production, the best sight lines, the best band experience.” Weeden is coaching and encouraging talent buyers based out of the Frankford Avenue baby, but clearly he’s been around the block and I wanted to ask him about what the future held for this particular room. Continue reading →