I really wanted to dislike Post Malone. And I did… at first.
Much like the articles of my peers from all over the Twin Cities who also attended this run of back-to-back sold-out shows this week at the Xcel Energy Center, when Post Malone first popped onto the scene a few years ago, my exact reaction was “meh.”
I vividly remember seeing the music video for “White Iverson” for the first time. In it, you see a younger, and far less tattooed, version of Austin Richard Post whipping a white Bently through the desert, loudly proclaiming “…I need that money like the ring I never won.”
The song was catchy in all the wrong ways, and to me, it felt manufactured, and a bit like yet another privileged white kid who was appropriating a culture that didn’t belong to him for personal benefit.
“My name is Austin Richard Post and I’ve come to play some shitty music for y’all.”
Over the last few years I’ve kept up with Post Malone’s career, mostly because it’s nearly impossible not to be aware of his every move when you work in the music industry, and while the harsh stance I took on him at first fizzled out, I certainly never would have called myself a fan of his.
Post Malone’s set was one of the highlights of the entire weekend, and it turned me into a fan almost immediately. The way he was able to command a crowd of nearly 50,000 people with his goofy yet charming antics was incredibly fun to watch, and the passion he put into the performance was completely unexpected.
He truly loves what he does, and it’s impossible to hate a guy like that.
Now out in support of his latest release, Hollywood Is Bleeding, which has hit Number #1 on the charts, shattered multiple streaming records, and, at one time, had all seventeen of its tracks in the Billboard Hot 100, including four in the top ten, Posty came back to the Twin Cities for the first time since 2017 for two sold-out nights at The X.
Kicking off the show with the title track from his latest release, Post Malone, decked out in an outfit I would imagine Guy Fieri wearing on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, had us eating out of the palm of his hand right from the start.
“My name is Austin Richard Post and I’ve come to play some shitty music for y’all,” he proclaimed to the crowd of about 14,000 people after his first song, who erupted in applause and ear-rupturing shrieking.
Then, after stumbling over the words at the beginning of his smash-hit “Better Now,” the second song of the performance, he stopped the show and demanded the DJ restart the song, promising the crowd he was going to get it right the second time.
After that, it was a string of massive hits from his still-very-young career, including a large chunk of the latest album, to which the crowd had already memorized every single word.
The highlights included a performance of the song “Take What You Want,” which featured Ozzy Osbourne on the two giant video screens straddling the catwalk stage and enough pyrotechnics to put on a fairly impressive Fourth of July celebration.
The final five songs of the roughly 90-minute set thrust The X into absolute bedlam, including an energetic performance of “Rockstar” which featured Posty smashing an acoustic guitar on stage, which received a thunderous round of cheers. He also brought opener Swae Lee back out on stage for a rendition of their hit from Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, “Sunflower.”
Post Malone then took a moment to humbly address the crowd before closing out his performance, thanking them for supporting him over the years, their way of saying “Congratulations,” which happened to be his closing song of the night.
After closing out the show, he took a moment to give us a couple of bows and shout “Thank you, St. Paul!” and “I love you, Twin Cities!” a few times before playfully scurrying away behind the stage. All of the feelings I had after his performance at Bonnaroo came flooding back, and I couldn’t help but turn to my girlfriend and say “… that was fucking incredible!”
You might love him, you might hate him, but one thing is for sure, Post Malone simply doesn’t give a shit. He’s making music for the people who want to hear it, and more importantly, the people who need to hear it.
Hopefully it won’t be too long before Post Malone returns to the Twin Cities, but even if it is, everyone in attendance made the most of it this time around and will welcome him back with outstretched arms whenever he returns.
Post Malone Setlist – September 27th, 2019 – Xcel Energy Center
- Hollywood’s Bleeding
- Better Now
- Die for Me
- Candy Paint
- I Fall Apart
- Over Now
- Take What You Want
- Go Flex
- White Iverson
- Sunflower (with Swae Lee)