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Posts Tagged ‘free concert’

Did you know that one of the world’s leading music conservatories is located in Philadelphia, and that their uber-talented students showcase their talents every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evening throughout the school year at recitals that are free and open to the public? Neither did I, until I went on a date there a few weeks ago.

The students are from the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music, and their recitals are performed an intimate 240-person auditorium (Field Concert Hall) (handicapped accessible) located in the Institute’s “main building” – a gorgeously preserved 19th century mansion located at 1726 Locust Street, near the south-east corner of Rittenhouse Square park.  

My date and I dressed up special for the occasion (think fine wool suit, cufflinks, swishy dress, pointy heels) and met for a pre-concert drink at the swanky Bar 210 at Lacroix across the park.  The location was certainly convenient, and their happy-hour (5-7pm) of half-priced cocktails ($6 instead of the usual $12) is a great deal, but the ambience was a little sedate.  Next time I’d go to Fish instead.  Located a few blocks away at 1708 Lombard streed, Fish has an intimate bar that overlooks their open kitchen, filling the small space with the sights and sounds of the chefs at work, a nice prelude (and contrast) to the sights and sounds to be enjoyed at the concert hall afterwards.

How cheap we talkin’:  The recitals are FREE! Happy hour drinks and/or snacks, $7-$15 (with tax/tip).

Why this will impress your date:  Watching these amazingly able child-prodigies perform will impress anybody.  And your date will appreciate you for being the kind of person who would think of such a nice way to spend an evening together, despite your having only average musical abilities.

The Inside Game:  Make sure to get the the concert at least 10-15 minutes early to secure a seat. The recitals start promptly at 8pm (they won’t let you walk in once it’s started) and the auditorium is filled on a first-come, first-seated basis. But even if the recital does reach capacity you can still watch the live feed on a flat-screen television in the lobby.

Score Extra Points:  By remembering to sneak in a water bottle.

Next Date: Student recitals are at 8pm (almost) every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evening from October 11 through May.  Have a favorite composer? Check the schedule to see who’s playing, as well as what pieces/instruments.

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Every Friday at noon, you can go to World Cafe Live and see a free concert.  The performances are recorded and broadcast live on WXPN, complete with on-air announcements, so it’s really a fun thing to be a part of, and definitely a notch above the usual “lunch date.”  I recently met a date there to see Drink Up Buttercup, an energetic, psychedelic, PA-based garage band that has been gaining momentum both locally and nationally. Performances reliably start at noon and end about 30 minutes later, leaving plenty of time to actually enjoy lunch, too.  If you want to stay in-house, World Cafe has $8 pre-fixe lunch specials, but we opted instead to walk two blocks North on Walnut street to the more casual Picnic, which offers an inventive inventory of freshly made sandwiches, salads, soups, and desserts.

How much we talkin’: The show is FREE. (Optional) drink at World Cafe Live is $5 (+ tip). Salad or sandwich at Picnic, $8 or less.

Why this will impress your date: Show you’re not just a slave to the man by indulging in a drink on your lunch hour. A real one.

The inside game: These shows can and do reach capacity, especially for larger national acts, and XPN makes registration available to its members before the general public.  If you’re not a member, check the free-at-noon events page to see who’s coming the next Friday and if space is available.  Registration is a simple matter of providing your name and email, and one person can RSVP for two or more guests.

Score extra points: By showing your date up to the balcony, accessible by the stairs on the second level.

Next date: Friday at noon! Find out who’s playing this week here.

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