Having recently moved to Philadelphia within the last year, a thought that has been more frequently popping into mind is how foundational the city has been regarding my development as a fan of music.
Philadelphia is full to the brim with passion; it’s not called “The City of Brotherly Love” for nothing.
We love our food (cheesesteaks from Dalessandro’s), we love our sports (E-A-G-L-E-S!), but most importantly, we love our music.
Through my whole life it’s a city I’ve lived on the fringes of, it’s where I cut my teeth and learned to love music. Music in Philly isn’t just about music; it’s community. After a while, I learned to love that too. In doing so, I enjoyed some of the best years of my life.
Like The Wonder Years, I got my start in South Philly basements drenched in stale beer and sweat. Back then, our scene seemed so small. It wasn’t just The Wonder Years we were seeing in basements, but we’d worship twinkle-emo charmers Algernon Cadwallader in the bowels First Unitarian Church on Sundays and then count down the days until we exorcised our emotional bullshit with Snowing the following week.
When those acts blossomed into national touring acts and our routine was shattered, I can remember my friends and I certainly feeling upset, but even more so proud – our little scene had become everyone’s, and we wanted nothing but the best for bands who taught us the camaraderie music can evoke.
For me and my involvement in that scene, my time ended with Snowing’s last show (supported by the all-star cast of Algernon Cadwallader, Glocca Morra, 1994! and The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die). Since then, my tastes have mutated and spread a million different directions – I’ve chugged a marinara and mozzarella pizza-bong with our local party-thrashers Pizza Face and swayed back and forth solemnly while black metal maestros Infernal Stronghold have devastated small stages in front of 30 people – only because Philadelphia’s inherent love for music has become a home for any and every genre you could imagine. If given the chance to grow up near any metropolis and be involved in their music scene, I would choose Philly every day of the week and twice on Sunday.