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20 Philadelphia concerts you should go to if you ever invent a time machine

Led Zeppelin onstage at The Spectrum in 1970 | Photo via ledzeppelin.com
Led Zeppelin onstage at The Spectrum in 1970 | Photo via ledzeppelin.com

Every music fan has their own personal list of all-time favorite concerts. But imagine if you were old enough to experience a legendary rock and roll act like Chuck Berry in his prime, while in the same breath catching emerging bands like The Black Keys and Nirvana before they got huge. It’s pretty likely you never got to do either of these things. But there is one hypothetically feasible way to make it happen: invent a time machine. So let’s pretend for a minute this doable – here’s what I’d go back in time to see.

1. Led Zeppelin – March 31, 1970 at The Spectrum

The earlier you saw Led Zeppelin the better. Towards the middle of the 70s, Jimmy Page’s heroin addiction affected his onstage presence, and Robert Plant’s voice became noticeably strained. There’s a phenomenal video, which you can find on YouTube, of Led Zeppelin playing at the Royal Albert Hall in London from the same year, which features my personal favorite versions of “Communication Breakdown,” “Bring It On Home,” “I Can’t Quit You Baby,” and “How Many More Times.” The grainy video (which also features Page doing the seemingly impossible: making a sweater vest look cool) isn’t all that clear, but the sound is great and that’s really all that matters. It’s likely you would’ve gotten the same mind blowing performance in Philly (check out this vintage review by longtime Philly journo Clark De Leon).

2. The Strokes – October 9, 2003 at Tower Theater

Julian Casablancas’ voice in the early 00s was a thing of beauty. He had the perfect Jim Morrison-esque rock and roll growl, and is probably one of the most overlooked singers in rock history during his prime. Although, I’m a huge fan of The Strokes’s later stuff as well, there’s no denying their first two albums were two of the best rock albums in the early aughties – a time that was otherwise riddled with awful rock bands like Nickelback and Breaking Benjamin.

3. Oasis – October 23, 1994 at J.C. Dobbs

This was the first time Oasis ever played in Philly and also their first ever American tour. Around this time, tensions between Noel and Liam Gallagher had yet to reach the point of totally hating each other’s guts. Also, due to a randomly placed wall on J.C. Dobbs’ stage, this show was rumored to be the only time Noel played on the left side of the stage.

4. The Who – October 19, 1969 at The Electric Factory
The Who actually played two shows at the Electric Factory on this day (bands did that back then, apparently). Anybody who’s ever seen Who videos from the late 60s knows that the band was a powerhouse back in this time period — especially with the late Keith Moon on drums. Also, this probably isn’t the Electric Factory you’re familiar with. The original one was at 22nd and Arch and closed down in 1973. The current one at 7th and Willow opened in 1994. Listen to audio from the show here.

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The Clash at The Tower in September, 1980 | Photo by Todd Heft |

5. The Clash – March 6, 1980 at Tower Theater

The year 1980 was a good one to see The Clash live. You would have heard songs from all their best albums including Give ‘Em Enough Rope, London Calling and their self-titled debut. Also, you’d get to see their iconic lineup. By 1983, drummer Topper Headon and guitarist Mick Jones would eventually be kicked out of the band.

 

6. The Black Keys – February 5, 2009 at Electric Factory

There were at least two or three times I almost saw the Black Keys before they got huge. For whatever reason, I couldn’t go to the concerts, but I always knew they’d be back in Philly again so I never let it bother me much. That is, until they released Brothers and the band made it big time. Continue reading →

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Roger Daltrey of The Who and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts to play CHOP benefit

The Who | photo by Joe del Tufo | joedeltufo.com
The Who | photo by Joe del Tufo | joedeltufo.com

Roger Daltrey of The Who and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts will join together for an iconic night of music in support of Teen Cancer America (TCA) and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). The benefit concert will be held on July 28 at the Kimmel Center. Proceeds from the event will benefit children and young adults who are patients in CHOP’s Cancer Center by creating a new space dedicated to the needs of the demographic. Tickets go on sale this Friday, June 6 at 10 a.m. and are available for purchase here.

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Photo Recap: The Who with Vintage Trouble at the Wells Fargo Center

Last night The Who brought their Quadrophenia anniversary tour to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Los Angeles rock-and-soul band Vintage Trouble opened the show, and you can check out a photo recap of the night in the gallery above.

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Get psyched to hear The Who play Quadrophenia by watching The Who’s Quadrophenia (coming to The Wells Fargo Center in December)

Both a classic double album of the early 70s and a cult favorite rock film of the late 70s, Quadrophenia is being paraded out by The Who late this year and early next to celebrate the band’s album’s 40th anniversary. According to the band’s website, the tour is stopping at The Wells Fargo Center on Dec. 8. If you’ve never seen it, the movie is a lot of fun – mods versus rockers high drama, motorcycles and street fights, loud guitar chords…and the entire thing is on YouTube. Kick back and watch it below. Continue reading →

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