By Zach Goins
July 30, 2023
Post Malone is many things. The 28-year-old rapper has embraced hip-hop, pop, country and rock to varying degrees throughout his career– but on Malone’s 2023 tour, he is truly a rockstar.
On his latest album, AUSTIN, which dropped the day before his tour stop in Charlotte Saturday night, Malone leans heavily into breezy pop-synth sounds worthy of radio hits. But even those new tracks, along with a heavy dose of the singer’s classics, got a bit of a rock ‘n’ roll makeover.
Despite a last-minute schedule change, the threat of severe weather, and an hour-plus delay, Malone still managed to bring his infectious energy and a 24-song set to the Queen City, blending moods and showing off his versatility as an artist.
After breaking onto the scene in 2015 with his hit SoundCloud track, “White Iverson,” Malone’s debut album, Stoney, cemented the artist as a hip-hop voice, blending trap music with tones of rock and pop. The 2018 follow-up album, beerbongs & bentleys, continued to blend the three genres, and both albums were heavily featured on Malone’s setlist. But the live nature of the show allowed the rock elements to truly shine.
Half of Malone’s 24 tracks Saturday night came from his first two albums with “Better Now” kicking off the show with an orchestral intro, as a string quartet welcomed the band onto the stage, before Malone himself was introduced rocking a pair of jorts and a camo tank. The strings quickly fell to the background as the beat kicked in and the electric guitar took over.
“Congratulations,” Malone’s biggest hit from his debut album, served as the grand finale of the set prior to the two-song encore, while “rockstar” marked a highlight in the middle of the set as flames and fireworks ignited on stage. The production of most of the popular tracks created a visual spectacle, but Malone knew when to pull back as well, stripping down a handful of hits for more intimate performances. While tackling a heavy topic like addiction during “Feeling Whitney,” Malone took the stage solo with his acoustic guitar, delivering a moving acoustic rendition, which created a refreshing change of pace. The band rejoined Malone for another emotional hit in “I Fall Apart,” but the singer was spotlighted centerstage, allowing the vocals to shine as the audience felt Posty’s pain.
When the time calls for it, Malone still delivers all the pain and anger his older tracks demand, screaming into the mic and rolling on the stage in positions that look more like a game of Twister. His gratitude to the fans in attendance was effusive throughout the night, telling the crowd that their support quite literally saved his life.
After a stretch of throwbacks to close out his set (“Too Young,” “White Iverson,” “Congratulations”), Malone spent a few minutes down on the edge of the stage accepting friendship bracelets, hats, and even puppets, while taking selfies and high-fiving the fans. A few minutes passed as “Posty” chants echoed the amphitheater before Malone and the band re-emerged for the two-song encore, featuring the beloved single, “Sunflower,” from the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse soundtrack, and “Chemical” to end the night on a high note.
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“Zack and Codeine”
“Hollywood Dreams” / “Comedown”
“I Like You (A Happier Song)”
“Take What You Want”
“I Fall Apart”
“Wrapped Around Your Finger”
“Enough Is Enough”
“Broken Whiskey Glass”