By Chris Stigall

By Jan Carabeo and Chris Stigall

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – An iconic music venue opens in Philadelphia tonight.

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The grand opening of the Fillmore in Fishtown will feature a performance from Philadelphia’s own Hall & Oates,  sponsored by 98.1 WOGL.

The venue is a beautiful mix between old and new. It pays homage to its roots in San Francisco and the music scene in 1965, but it ties in its new location in Philadelphia.

The CEO of the House of Blues, Ron Bension, is in Philadelphia to promote the open.

Bension told Chris Stigall on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that the Fillmore opens as one of the premier venues in the country.

 

“We worked really, really hard to create what we believe will be the most beautiful club in America. It’s very fan-centric, very band-centric. We want the bands to be comfortable and the fans to have a great, great time, great sight lines, sound, lighting, and a very comfortable environment. Come early. Hang out. Grab a drink.”

He said the club will offer a unique environment that fans will not find everywhere.

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“What’s more important, I think with the Fillmore is we’re really creating a different experience. This is a much higher level building, from a quality point of view and from an experiential point of view. It’s not just about going to the concert. It’s about having a whole entertainment evening. I think what we’ve really tried to do here is really raise the level of the experience for, what I believe, is a very discerning market. The Philly market is a voracious music audience. They want a better experience and a good experience and that’s what we’re going to provide at the Fillmore.”

He adds, “We’ve seen that over and over again in many, many markets where we open buildings or other buildings are opened around us, more bands come into the marketplace. There’s more opportunity to play. There’s less busy nights. When a band’s coming in, they go, we want to play Philadelphia, coming through the Eastern Seaboard, well we don’t have a room that night, we’re already sold. So, there’s another building to take that band in.”

Another highlight is a re-creation of the Betsy Ross flag. Up close, you can see it is made up of Fillmore poster arts of bands and artists that played at Fillmore’s all across the U.S.

The Fillmore Philadelphia is the sixth nationwide.

“It connects the fabric of the Fillmores across the country,” says David Fortin of Live Nation. “Beautiful, ornate chandeliers; the curtains — which help with sound — are another thing that you see in all of the Fillmores.”

But as soon as you step foot in the Fillmore here, the space is distinctly Philadelphia. From Live Nation’s take on the LOVE statue to the wall art.

Upstairs is a club within a club called The Foundry, a name that references the building’s original purpose. This is, after all, the former Ajax Metal Company.

Th venue will showcase local acts and national artists on the rise, and on the walls are sons and daughters of Philadelphia who have taken the worldwide stage.

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The doors open at 5 p.m. for tonight’s grand opening. The Hall & Oats concert — sold out for months — starts at 8 p.m.