Son Little | photo by Liz Waldie for WXPN

A hometown crowd packed World Cafe Live late this morning for a hometown hero of sorts. Son Little, the project of singer and guitarist Aaron Livingston, is a local favorite for Philly audiences, and the artist himself seemed right at home during today’s Free at Noon. After opening the set with a few new songs from his forthcoming album New Magic, Son Little welcomed the crowd, which had lined up outside well before doors opened and flocked closer and closer to the stage as the show went on, clapping and dancing along.

Son Little then launched into another New Magic song, the as-of-yet unreleased “O Me O My,” before taking things way back with “Alice,” off 2014’s Things I Forgot; a song “so old I forgot how to play it,” Son Little joked as the band tuned. “Alice” got the already-spirited crowd clapping along, and the energy continued into “Blue Magic,” the first single from New Magic, as the stage was fittingly cloaked in blue lights.

Son Little powered through the rest of his 8-song set, but not without indulging the crowd with a few stories about his time in Philly. Gesturing to his guitar, Son Little said that he’s written a good number of his songs on the old and worn Fender – “so many that there’s almost no frets left,” he laughed. It was his first guitar, the artist went on to say, from when he moved to his first Philly apartment on South Street – “before anyone lived West of Broad Street,” he said, which got a good laugh from the crowd.

After introducing his backing band, Son Little began to wrap up his set with a few slower classics, “Lay Down” and “Your Love Will Blow Me Away When My Heart Aches,” then closed with the powerhouse “The River,” which inspired some lively clapping among the audience. As Son Little and band left the stage, it was clear the audience wasn’t ready to see him go. After a minute or two of collective speculation – “Will there be an encore or not?!” – and a cryptic sidestage shrug from Helen Leicht, Son Little returned for one more triumphant song and promised the audience he’d be back soon.

New Magic, Son Little’s second full-length, will be released September 15 on ANTI- Records. If you missed today’s Free at Noon, worry not – Son Little will bring some of this new magic back later this month with a two-night stint at Boot & Saddle September 29 and 30 with support from Doe Paoro. More information on those shows can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar.

Check out photos from the Free at Noon below, and read The Key’s recent interview with Son Little here.

Demon to the Dark
Kimberly’s Mine
O Me O My
Blue Magic
Lay Down
Your Love Will Blow Me Away When My Heart Aches
The River