With Jazz Cartier and Larry June
House of Blues, Dallas
Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016
Moments after stepping off stage at House of Blues on Tuesday night, Post Malone tweeted his appreciation to his hometown fans. “Dallas you have my heart,” the former Grapevine resident wrote to his 260,000 followers. “Nights like this remind me of why I love touring.” It would seem the rising star was pleased with the homecoming stop of his new Monster Energy Outbreak tour — and with good reason.
Malone spent almost the entirety of 2016 on the road while preparing his debut album, working off the viral popularity of his song “White Iverson.” So it’s not surprising that the comforts of home should elicit such a quick, emotional appreciation.
The 21-year-old spent the afternoon leading up to the show among high school friends and his parents who were also side stage during his headlining moment, beaming with pride and singing along with each song.
This wasn’t Malone's first homecoming. This was his fourth visit this year, following shows with Fetty Wap, JMBLYA and Justin Bieber. It was the eager, fanatic crowd that seemed to make the difference this time around. For all those other performances, including his sold-out Trees show last summer, it felt as if the crowds were in attendance to catch a glimpse of the latest hype before they saw the real headliner.
Last night everyone was there for him and it was clear Malone is a star in his own right and with a loyal following that goes beyond civic pride.
When the opening notes to “White Iverson” dropped, the venue instantly lit up with cell phone lights as Malone strolled out on stage. One fan in the front row wiped tears from her eyes while singing along as another fan just a couple people away literally had his jaw dropped. Malone gave off a gleeful air, but it wasn’t as bright-eyed as his previous visits. He’s a veteran now and instead of reeling in the excitement of the moment, Malone was better engaged with the crowd. On most of his songs Malone's voice is fluffed up with autotune and heavy reverb but in a live setting it’s plain to hear that he has a strong, natural voice that sounded good enough as he performed “Too Young” and a bulk of tracks from his August 26 mixtape, including “Monte,” “Never Understand” and “Hollywood Dreams/Comedown.”
With each song, the crowd enthusiastically responded and sang back every word, staying on their feet for the 60-minute set. Malone’s stamina wasn’t quite up to par. After a few songs his energy waned but he more than made up for it with a couple antics that kept the show from dropping off. Halfway through his set, Malone brought out Dallas hip-hop royalty in the form of Big Tuck, who performed “Southside Da Realist” and “Not a Stain On Me” with him.
Then, after performing his newest single and Justin Bieber collaboration, “Déjà Vu,” Malone started “Lonely,” which features Will Smith's son Jaden. By the time Smith’s part of the song started, Malone grabbed his phone from his manager and showed the crowd that Smith was on Facetime with him. The crowd lost it as Malone danced with the phone in hand showing it off to the crowd. With pals like Justin Bieber, Jaden Smith and Kanye West, he has moved beyond the supposed one-hit-wonder status so many tried to press upon him.
Malone promises there is a debut album on its way, but with the August 26 release date in the rearview, it’s unclear when the project will be released. Other than “Déjà Vu,” the only other new music from the album Malone played is a song possibly called “Congratulations,” since it’s repeated several times in the hook.
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It doesn’t seem like Malone’s fans are upset there’s not a new album, though. From the reaction they had for all the music he’s released over the past year, it seems he has a little more time to let it simmer while the album releases. Malone closed the night with “White Iverson” and the song still hasn’t lost a step. The crowd sang the words so loudly that Malone just put the microphone in the air and let them finish it.
It's been a year and a half since his overnight success, and Malone is still riding a career trajectory that shows no signs of hitting a ceiling. He continues to build upon accomplishment after accomplishment and it will be interesting to see how much his homecomings get when he releases Stoney.