At the Xcel Energy Center on Sunday night, several $50 T-shirts said, “Post Malone likes me,” which became the concert’s unofficial tagline. The 95-minute St. Paul performance was spent mainly by the tattooed pop singer/rapper of “Circles” and “Rockstar” fame conveying his joy at seeing the sold-out crowd. Although this was only the second stop on his first tour since the government shutdown, his kindness appeared genuine.
The 27-year-old Texan said to the crowd of 14,000+, “I can’t tell you how [bleeping] good it is after 212 years to come out and just [bleeping] rock this place.”
The concert on Sunday had a similar upbeat, carefree atmosphere to Posty’s two-night run at the Xcel Center earlier this year. He guzzled beer from a red plastic Solo cup and chatted with the crowd more frequently than even Toby Keith does between songs (whose hits include “Red Solo Cup”).
Some of the concerts, though, took a more severe and gloomy turn, echoing the mood of his new, more melancholy record. It felt like Posty was the kind of friend who would drag you away from the party and make you sit at a counter in the dark so you could open up and hear that everything would be okay.
Even before the album’s first track, “Reputation,” a loudly yelled gut-wrencher that opens his new personal album “Twelve Carat Toothache,” the uplifting tone was evident. He began the event by holding a microphone stand to his chest and singing, “Can’t be anyone else, so don’t let me go / Save yourself” from center stage.
However, before long, Posty was strutting and bouncing all over the place to cheerier tunes, such as a brand new one titled “I Like You (A Happier Song).” He moved around the arena via three long runways that ran the floor length, with hundreds of fans happily sandwiched between them; a pretty nifty stage setup.
Both “Beerbongs & Bentleys,” Post’s boisterous breakthrough album from 2018, and the new album were strongly represented at Sunday’s performance. Those fans had no trouble deciding who they wanted to hear more from. Early on in the event, the crowd went nuts for the megahits “Better Now” and “Psycho,” and they stayed that way for the deeper cut “Rockstar” and even “Over Now” at the very end.
However, new songs were performed throughout the night, which the Austin Richard Post admitted to being unhappy. In “Love/Hate Letter to Alcohol,” he explained his problems openly. From his knees on a small circular stage at the far end of the arena, he sang the darkest and heaviest new song, “Euthanasia.”
Telling the gathering, “If you ever feel heartbroken and alone, you’re not,” he hoped to alleviate any fears of isolation. People care about you a lot more than you realize. Posts may have developed as a person and musician, but his live performance hasn’t changed much in the interim.
The performance on Sunday, like on previous occasions, relied solely on backing tracks in place of a band, including numerous pre-recorded voice sections. Posty is a powerful voice in concert but generally doesn’t have much of a commanding stage presence; if it weren’t for opening act Roddy Ricch showing up late in the show to join in on their collaboration smash “Cooped Up,” the show would have been nothing but Posty singing along.
He looked like he had just walked in from his uncle’s tailgating party, with his Michael Gallup Dallas Cowboys jersey and trusty Solo cup. Even dancing, he didn’t appear to be giving it his all. In “Candy Paint,” he took a smoke break in the middle of the song to enjoy the excellent background vocals while remaining casual enough to light up.
Posty’s relatable nature undoubtedly helps him to connect with his audience. During a three-song acoustic guitar set that included “Stay” and “Circles,” the crowd went wild.
Again, the crowd went wild for the show’s final song, “Congratulations,” which he sang shirtless after tossing his jersey into the audience. After the last song concluded, he stayed on stage for another five minutes to meet and greet his adoring public.