Post Malone left his mark by breaking the world record of the most shoeys and showed what almost ten years in the business gets you when you make hit after hit.
Fresh off the heels of a brand-new album, American chart topper Post Malone returns to Australian soil after a joint stint with the Red Hot Chili Peppers back in February of this year. Angus Stone, sans his female counterpart Julia Stone, greets a steadily developing crowd of around 20,000 eager punters preparing for a night of thrills and fireworks. Giving them a taste of his Australian folk-rock before the chanting of “Posty!” and thunderous stomping begins, followed by screams of varying natures, most likely arousal backed with an orchestral band to set the scene.
The tatted heartthrob erupts onto the stage for Better Now, robed in classic Texas regalia of a ‘Foster’s Australian for beer’ white tee and a little pair of blue denim booty shorts. The first song saw the crowd belting out every verse as pyrotechnic fireworks engulfed the stage before following that pleasing palette taster with the rambunctious Wow, bathed in a blue hue and yet even more extravagant fireworks.
“My name is Austin Richard Post. I came here with a group of beautiful individuals to play some shitty songs and party while we do it!” before being welcomed in the only true-blue Australian fashion: with a shoey. Posty chases that down with the ever-so-refreshing Zack And Codeine and Psycho; two solidified hits off 2018’s Beerbongs & Bentleys. Clearly gearing up for a wild night ahead, by swapping the pop and rap for an almost heavy metal screamo rendition of Goodbyes, as he takes his vocal cords to the edge, displaying so much raw talent that it’s no wonder every song so far has been concluded with applause and cheer. He then glides through a cover of Dreams by Fleetwood Mac and the punchiness of the latest single Mourning into the Doja Cat collab I Like You (A Happier Song).
Things take a mysterious turn with the introduction of Jonestown (Interlude), with its almost cinematic nature as the string quartet builds and hums like a war cry. Lights flash and flicker as flames lick and spit at the front of the stage. The guitars get so hot they have no choice but to shred. Ozzy Osbourne’s face beams onto the screens. This is rock-n-roll!
Take What You Want sees Austin at his most punk, where the mood only intensifies with some real electric slaps from the lead guitarist against his penetratingly aggressive vocals. The song goes out with a bang, literally as fireworks ignite the already blazing stage. Post Malone is on fire tonight - “I think fire’s pretty badass,” he declares.
Posty’s parched and goes for another shoey, inviting fan Caden on stage to partake in the religious experience before booting him off to the sound of Over Now. The shirt comes off, too, revealing the Sistine Chapel in human form. He means business now, Over Now feels much more intense and hard hitting live, with heavy drumbeats and Austin’s seasoned vocals accompanied by flames. He’s a rock star through and through, which is fitting because Rockstar is up next.
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He works the stage like he owes you the best show of your life, throwing himself into every song with aplomb of an artist that’s so proud of how far he’s come and what he’s achieved. Invoking a modern-day Rage Against The Machine, no one else is mixing punk-rock and rap so successfully like this.
After playing perhaps the most intense and overpowering song of the night, he asks ever so politely, “Do you mind if I slow it down for you tonight with some guitar?” This is Feeling Whitney, a deep cut from his debut outing, Stoney, way back in 2016. The slow crooning of the track highlights just how brilliant a vocalist he is and acts as such a sweet, tender moment in an otherwise hard-hitting show. After holding the final note with ease he rewards himself with a blunt before getting the crowd to join in.
“Can I get a boot up here? Do you think we can break the world record for shoeys tonight?” The third shoey sees the New York native invite another fan, Andrew, guitar in hand, onto the stage to partake in the tradition and also be the “Donkey to his Shrek” as the dynamic duo take on the slow acoustic performance of Stay. Posty has honed his skills over the years; you can feel him really digging deep for each note as if this song means a lot to him. The crowd approves; nice work, Andrew.
The softer tone continues into Overdrive, a highlight from his latest full-length LP AUSTIN. A shining spectacle of sweeping guitars backed to a one-two slow dance of a drum beat as he croons he would “do anything to be cool to you”. Suddenly becoming a professor, Post Malone gives lectures on the dynamics and trigonometry of shoeys before taking an R.M. Williams to the gullet. For those keeping score at home, that’s four.
Phones go up for I Fall Apart. You’ve heard it a thousand times, but never like this. It’s big, and it’s bold and a sucker punch to the heart as Austin comes apart on stage possibly intoxicated at this point. The mood becomes a sultry one following that as Posty performs Wrapped Around Your Finger straight into Circles. As you'd expect, the screen is filled with various circles and bubbles with Posty right in the centre. Dancing and swerving with the intricacy of a dad at a child’s birthday party is ever so endearing. If you need proof that he was born for this, it’s right here in this moment. Backed by a full-fledged band of guitars, keys, drums, and strings, his co-pilots as he soars high and valiantly through the show.
The fifth fan shoey in some Nike dunks is presented. At this point, the singer is more of a mixed beverage than a person, yet he is still in complete control. It never feels clunky or bloated. Each song flows well into the next, and he knows how to ebb and flow with the crowd like a pro. “I’m 28 fucking years old, dude, and I wrote this song like ten years ago, but being a dad now, this song rings so true.” Posty doesn’t want to die Too Young. The crowd holds up peace signs as smoke and fireworks light up the stage. Austin may not be done living just yet, but with how close he is to those pyrotechnics he might want to be careful.
White Iverson follows suit, the song that put him on the map and delivered him to the world packaged ready for stardom and; of course, this means a celebratory sixth shoey, and this one’s a fine month-aged moon boot! “Be who you want to be, do whatever you fucking want and do it the best you can. No one can tell you shit; this one’s called Congratulations.”
It's an apt song to finish on that only builds in meaning with each new album, especially playing to a crowd of this size, which isn’t too happy he’s left as the chants for “one more song!” only grow louder.
The lights go dark. Then flicker on. Never mind, he’s back. Of course, he can’t leave before playing the smash hit (three billion+ streams on Spotify) Sunflower. Violins and a blue light immerse the stage like waves before crashing and breaking into the familiar melody.
Posty gives an official sign-off with a departing kiss in the form of the latest album’s lead single, Chemical, pulling out all his best moves and grooves before gifting his guitar to a fan and exiting with a seventh and final shoey from his own sneaker. “Thank you for breaking the world record of shoeys tonight with me. I’ve been Austin Richard Post; make some noise for this amazing band right here.”
It was charming, it was chaotic, and so goddamn punk! Everything you’d want and more from your best friend in the whole world. Post Malone certainly left his mark and showed what almost ten years in the business gets you when you make hit after hit. The If Y’all Weren’t Here I’d Be Crying tour is set to hit Sydney and Melbourne in the coming days, and what a treat they are in for.