Free at Noon Flashback: Jidenna commands the crowd in dapper, energized fashion - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
Jidenna at WXPN’s Free At Noon Concert on 7/7/17 | photo by Emma Silverstone for WXPN

Earlier this week, when I first perused who was going to be performing at the upcoming Free at Noon, I was severely (and happily) surprised. To be honest, I was so surprised that I double checked to make sure the interweb was correct. A rapper? For Free at Noon? You sure, Google?

It’s no secret that XPN’s weekly series boasts an insanely stacked repertoire, but it’s also no secret that folk and rock artists heavily make up the gamut of said list. So let’s just say I was incredibly curious to see how a rap artist would fare with the regular World Cafe Live crowd.

Jidenna, on the other hand, displayed no doubts whatsoever on the expected audience response. With a never-ceasing charming grin, a dapper three-piece suit, and suave as heck dance moves, Jidenna and crew immediately knew they had the crowd in the palm of their hands. We were all going to party, and gosh dang it, we were going to like it.

And that we definitely did. Opening with the explosive, “Chief Don’t Run,” Jidenna literally burst onto stage amidst colorful lights, soon melding seamlessly in formation with his band for powerful salutes. West African-infused track, “Bambi,” slowed the mood down a notch with a languid, lovelorn, sauciness — which then floated into an impressive a capella rendition.

Hit, “Classic Man,” called for the appearance of a snazzy cane and impeccable freeze-frame shots of fanciness, while infectiously zesty track, “Some Kind of Way,” pulled Jidenna through the crowd; making complete sure every person was as amped as him and his crew.

Beckoned back by uproarious applause, Jidenna and his band closed out the set with the positive, empowering single, “Extraordinaire,” leaving the crowd buzzing with a tangible energy; no doubt in awe of the spectacle they just took part in.

Jidenna will be returning to Philly on July 23rd for a sold-out show at The Foundry at The Fillmore. For the lucky ticket holders, more info on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Check out photos from the set below.

Chief Don’t Run
Long Live The Chief
Classic Man
98 Points
Little Bit More
Some Kind Of Way

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