REVIEW: You know how people say, “you just had to be there”? If you didn’t see Post Malone perform in Auckland’s Outerfields on Tuesday night, you missed a hell of a midweek rave.
There were clouds blocking the evening sky, and clouds blowing through the audience, but only light showers threatened to ruin the good time amongst patrons.
Make no mistake, filling the Outerfields is an impressive feat – the venue will play host to Laneway festival next year, and saw 2000s rockers My Chemical Romance in May and hometown hero Lorde in March. Being here feels like summer has placed a kiss on your cheek; the music festival season is just about to begin.
To build anticipation for the Utah-native, the crowd is treated to a beautiful orchestral opening including a violinist, cellist, and other string instrumentalists.
They’re joined by Post Malone’s rock band – guitars, bass, drums, keys – and everything is an explosion of joyous sound. It reminds you that all music (yes, even chart toppers that your Boomer uncle brushes off as “not real music”) is purely just a celebration of the joy of sound, shared with the world to enjoy.
When Post Malone takes the stage, he’s greeted to a chorus of “Posty! Posty! Posty!”, then delivers Better Now with coarse, heavy metal-esque vocals and pyrotechnics lighting up the sky.
He launches into Wow, Zack and Codeine, and Psycho, and there’s nothing that can kill the vibe within the crowd – not even the chaotic grunts of the man standing next to this here reviewer, who was either going through some kind of spiritual possession, or had consumed a Godlike amount of illicit substances.
Posty does a shoey to applause from the audience, noting that he could taste hints of oak within his sneaker-turned-gauntlet. In the crowd, a patron has a different suggestion: “it probably tastes like a fungal infection.”
Easily the best part of the show was when Post brought a fan from the audience, Rachel, onstage to perform with him.
He hands her the microphone, but before she can speak, everything else is drowned out by the crowd’s enthusiastic chorus of “Rachel! Rachel! Rachel!”.
Together, Posty and Rachel create magic by performing Stay, with Rachel making the task of playing guitar to an audience of thousands of people look like your bog-standard Tuesday activity. That’ll be a hell of a water cooler conversation tomorrow.
There’s another surprise guest: Daniel, pulled from the crowd to go onstage for his impressive Post Malone back tattoo.
Daniel, clearly having the best time of his life, gets his tattoo signed by the rapper himself. There are hugs, chants of “Daniel! Daniel!”, and the man himself disappears into the wings, definitely about to pull out his phone and search for the nearest 24/7 tattoo parlour to have Posty’s handwriting inked into his skin as well as his face.
There’s no doubt that Posty has the charisma and stage presence of about a dozen performers. He gives a generous “thank you guys! I love you so much!” after nearly every song, he gushes and gets playful with the audience, all the while performing with ceaseless energy.
It’s even better that he’s got the talent to back it all: while performing Feeling Whitney, the crowd enters rapture while Posty drawls catharsis. In another life, maybe he could have been a bluegrass singer.
Ending the show with White Iverson and Congratulations, then an encore performance of Sunflower and Chemical, the rapper can’t be faulted for doing exactly what he came here to do: put on a good show, and cement the audience’s belief in you as someone they admire and adore.
For Rachel, the dream of performing with an idol, for Daniel, a new tattoo with a great backstory (literally), and for this reviewer, the chance to experience an emotional cleansing strong enough to forget the pangs of heartbreak.