Hannah Jadagu welcomes us into her world at PhilaMOCA - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

“Thanks for coming back.”

Those words from 19-year-old Hannah Jadagu kicked off her first-ever headlining tour in the middle of a September heatwave at PhilaMOCA on Wednesday. More specifically, she kicked it off twice.

About halfway through her very first song, the power went out.

A collective groan came from the audience – who were quickly shuffled outside, hoping that the show we all came to see doesn’t get canceled or postponed.

Not much later, the XPN Artist To Watch and her band were playing us back in with a fresh wave of energy, lots of cymbals, and  atmospheric guitar.

Hannah Jadagu | photo by Danielle Ciampaglia for WXPN

Jadagu’s debut full length album Aperture was released in May. It’s an easy album to listen to, and it sounds even better live. Jadagu’s chemistry with her band is undeniable. Crisply recorded drums came to life on the stage from drummer Jacob BJ Stockman. Bassist and guitarist Garrett Chabot, in his Big Thief hat, could be seen jamming with Jadagu between verses. The energy of the show, much like Jadagu’s own music, was contemplative and attentive. No one was talking during songs or heckling, but there were loud cheers and applause inbetween.

The setlist highlight was noise-heavy “Letter to Myself,” which came at the end of her hour-long set. The song began with Jadagu on guitar and Chabot on bass. Both of them squatted on the ground, using their pedal board with their hands, and stayed down there for a while.

Decisions like this run the risk of taking the audience out of the moment, maybe questioning an artist’s choices on stage. Instead, “Letter to Myself” took us out of PhilaMOCA entirely and into Hannah Jadagu’s world. Jadagu, Stockman, and Chabot know how to read the vibe of a room, but mostly, they know how to set it.

Miloe | photo by Danielle Ciampaglia for WXPN

Opener Miloe set the stage for Jadagu with reflective songs and playful banter. It was hard to believe that it was just him and his guitar, since his performance was so dynamic and engaging. Also, at just 19, Miloe sets a high standard for the up-and-coming generation of singer-songwriters.

His track “Coma,” which Miloe said he doesn’t play often, was one of the most memorable of the set. Not only because it was good, but because his guitar broke in the final stretch of the song. Hannah Jadagu, much like a guardian angel, called down from the curtains of the second floor granting him permission to use one of hers.

PhilaMOCA creates a space where artists feel accessible to the crowd. The most memorable moment of any show there is less of a moment, and more of how each artist feels like a person in front of us, and not this distant entity. Philadelphia clearly loves Hannah Jadagu, and she seems to love it right back.

Below, check out a gallery of photos from the concert; for more, revisit Jadagu’s recent World Cafe interview with Stephen Kallao where she discusses Aperture and performs live.

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