We have been to the TLA twice now, and both times have had a great time!
Tickets are available on LiveNation but also at the box office located right at the TLA, which saves you the convenience and surcharge fees from online. You will be hard pressed to find great shows like these for the outstanding price of $20pp anywhere else. Philly has an abundance of theaters for plays and musicals, concert halls and overall entertainment venues but most start at $60pp for any show.
That being said, the TLA has little amenities and few updates to its building, interior and exterior. So if you fancy a place that you can have an expansive liquor selection, get a wonderful glass of wine or have a marble bathroom this is nowhere near for you.
Negatives: The bathrooms are microscopic and often do not even have soap in the dispensers, their is almost always "water" on the floor in them, and the entire feel of the place is a bit grungy (like it could use a reallllly good steam cleaning from top to bottom, side to side. Also, its $8 for a beer, and their are only about 4-5 beers to choose from (Yards, Yuengling, etc).
Positives: Completely relaxed vibe, they have chill bartenders and cocktail waitresses, loft-style viewing from upstairs, 21+ only section next to the bar on the first floor and a large stand-only front row stage area. So whether you want to kick it on a stool and sip on some beer listening to your favorite bands, headbang and dance with up close and personal front row band action or if you want to overlook the crowd and get an on top of you view of the bands...the TLA has all of it.
From 18-80, people of all ages come and love it, from hipsters to college students to professors to music artists to nerds to grandmas, across the racial and sexual orientation spectrums, this place is comfortable and welcoming to all.
No cavity searches: a quick look in a ladies purse by security (no dumping the whole thing out), no grooming your body with their hands for 5min.
Coat check: yes
Food: yes, popcorn, candy and the like (nothing more)
Drinks: yes, small selection of beers and liquors but in large quantaties
Venue size: Intimately large, holds about 1000 but usually has no more than 600 (not a place where you can't move around)
Policy: ONE and only one- no in-n-out, once your in your in
Cameras ARE allowed but I wouldn't carry it in on your wrist, maybe in a pocket
Dress code: comfortable, jeans and a t-shirt and not your brand new shoes (you'll most likely step in some beer at some point in the evening).
Cool level: Cresting the roof but not through it
Hope they can keep pulling great bands because I'll be back a million more times if they do!
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