The headline is a blatant lie- I must have choked up a half dozen times. I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into when I got out of the car in Downtown St.Paul this Friday evening. The streets were swarming with people, every bar was packed, and everyone had their own reason for coming to this event. You see, Post Malone has a song for every mood, and every single person- no matter where they are in their lives, or what kind of music we tend to fancy, and I can back that up with the fact that the show was not only sold out, but consisted of people from every walk of life- teenagers moving in packs of 12 almost clinging to each other as they navigated through the beer-crushing crowd, all the way to middle aged couples dancing to the music like it was their second wedding song. I myself sat with a young man and his mother- this was his first concert ever. How lucky he is to say that, and how unfortunate for any concert he goes to next because nothing will ever match the intensity and overwhelming joy that this event brought to everyone in that arena on that chilly September night.
We cannot overlook the opening acts for this concert, though. Tyla Yaweh, who opened up on stage regarding his previous homelessness and how he’s managed to build himself into an artist on tour with Post Malone. He expressed gratitude, and passion poured out of him with his Michael-Jackson comparable dance moves on stage. Even if audio was off, his presence was fantastic. After Tyla took his bow and thanked the audience again, Swae Lee took to the stage and redefined the definition of a hype man. I often forget that as much as opening acts are chances to expose associated artists, they are also an opportunity to warm the audience up for the main show and Swae Lee quite literally had the place jumping by the time he thanked us all and parted from the stage. I was already happy with what the concert had been- I had no idea I was about to cry tears of joy like a child seeing Santa Clause for the first time, or a fan-girl at a One Direction Concert.
Post Malone came out and the arena erupted. Everyone was screaming and chills shot up and down my spine as Post Walked out. What I can’t help but emphasize is how grateful Post was throughout the show. Nearly saying “thank you so much, ladies and gentleman” or a variation of that between each piece performed. He knows his vibes and persona- he wears his heart on his sleeve. He admitted from the beginning that we’d be in for a lot of sad songs that night, almost laughing it off as he casually sipped his bud light and eventually ripping a cigarette halfway through the show. Post Malone is who he is and he’s not going to deny anything. His dramatic, heart-breaking lyrics are almost corny at times- but damn, we’re all lying if we don’t say we belted those words out during “I Fall Apart” and when he came out with a guitar in hand for “Stay” I was a mess- two of the times I teared up were just mentioned.
I recently had my own share of heartbreaks and losses. “Stay” immediately gave me a few flashbacks to nights where a bottle seemed to be the only thing I had to hold. To be honest besides some college house parties and bar raids I never really spent too much time listening to Post Malone in the past- but I don’t think I’ve ever screamed with friends to any other song like “Congratulations” and “Sunflower.” Perhaps I was a subconscious Post Malone fan all along, but now I can definitely say that I am. The tears didn’t last long, as about halfway through the set they were fried off my face as flames became a part of the set during songs like “Rockstar.” We saw all sides of Post- break up sad boy, and pure inner rage, to happy and hopeful with songs like “Sunflower.” We all had something to relate to.
Music aside, the lighting and effects were something that can’t be ignored. I would imagine that even if one wasn’t a big fan of Post or his music, they would have to at least admit that the show’s experience and effects were almost cinematic. At times lights were shooting like lasers across the crowd, while flames erupted on stage, and the bass throbbed so hard that our pulses were replaced by the beats of the songs. It was nothing short of spectacular.
So the night was fantastic, emotional, and uplifting as Post ended with a colorful yet empowering speech before blasting his final jam “Congratulations.” Taking a moment to speak Post said, looking at the crowd with almost a tear in his eye and lump in his throat: “Ya know, whatever the f— you want to be or whatever the f— you want to do, just f—ing do it and don’t let nobody tell you f—ing s–t.” The inner poet came out, and perhaps a future in motivational speaking is in mind?
Post Malone has come a long ways since “White Iverson” and his initial burst on the scene, and his gratitude and genuine attitude will keep him at large, I bet. Not many people are as down to earth and transparent as this guy- and in this day and age of passive-aggressiveness and political correctness, I think people love his “f— it” approach to not only his music and performances but what we can assume is the same attitude he carries with his life. He’s an icon.
At one point, a woman behind me belted out across an emotionally charged audience “WHO HURT YOU POST MALONE!?” And it got me thinking. Ya know, who DID hurt Post Malone? But did it really matter? Should we question the source of his art or should we be grateful that he’s chosen to share his pains with us. Pressure creates diamonds, a seed needs dirt on it to grow, and maybe we needed Post to go through some darkness to get the light he emits today. The next time Post Malone is in town, I’ll be there, and with what I know now- hopefully with a few tissues in
Setlist: Hollywood’s Bleeding / Better Now / Saint-Tropez / Goodbyes / Die for Me / Allergic / Candy Paint / Psycho / Enemies / Wow. / Paranoid / I Fall Apart / Over Now / Take What You Want / Stay / Circles / Go Flex / White Iverson / Sunflower (with Swae Lee) / Rockstar / Congratulations