Post Malone's greatest attribute may be his disregard for anyone else's opinion. It's taken him two years to become one of the most known artists in the world, but that rapid rise has made him a lightning rod for criticism. This has not shaken the Grapevine native if last night's sold-out show at The Bomb Factory is any indication.
Just take the latest controversy. The Fader claims he unfairly "hacked" his way to the top of the Billboard chart last week by posting a video to YouTube that appeared to be the official audio for his new single, “Rockstar.” Instead, the video contained only a loop of the chorus with links to paid sites like Spotify and Apple Music to hear the full song. The video received 41 million views.
Malone addressed the claims onstage: “It’s week No. 2 and we still up there, huh?”
Just like he did for his first sold-out show at Trees in 2015, only months after “White Iverson” went viral and made him a star, Malone stormed the stage Tuesday with a Bud Light in hand to the tune of Stone Cold Steve Austin’s WWE entrance music. His fans screamed and snapped photos.
Malone quickly tempered the energy in the room by honoring the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, as well as late rappers Bankroll Fresh and A$AP Yams, before performing “Too Young.” For the first time, it felt like Malone had a full set’s worth of material to perform. He offered up a wide range of songs, from “Go Flex" to “I Fall Apart,” “No Option” and “Deja Vu.”
Most interesting was the acoustic guitar portion of the set. After performing “Feeling Whitney,” Malone executed a competent cover of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters." He also demonstrated that he's got a voice, even if on some songs, such as "Candy Paint," he took cover behind a backing track.
Before he launched into the Metallica cover he said something like, “I’m probably going to fuck this up, but whatever.” Malone is willing to take chances. He doesn't take himself too seriously. And that may be the key to his continued relevance.
Malone's appearance is just as much a talking point as his music — he looks ridiculous, and he knows it. These days, he wears a huge, curly rockstar mullet. He used to receive criticism for sporting slick cornrows, which some felt were an example of cultural appropriation.
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To close out the show, Malone hit his audience with a barrage of megahits, starting with “Rockstar.” He dug especially deep into his vocals and eventually screamed a portion of the song before chugging two beers and crushing the cans on his head.
“White Iverson” is still a fan favorite, and Post Malone sang the song with just as much conviction, but the real show stopper of the night was “Congratulations,” the song that brought him past one-hit-wonder territory. Before starting the track, Malone talked about all of his doubters. When they see him now, he said, all they have to say is “Congratulations.”