Post Malone had us all feeling like rockstars.

Having already been lucky enough to see Richard Austin Post at his first proper UK show at Leeds Festival last year, my excitement for his official UK/European tour was unparalleled. I said in my Leeds review:

Post Malone performed one of, if not the best, set at Leeds this year. It was a real shame that his performance was so early (3pm) as his showmanship and intimacy with the audience really would’ve played better with a darker night and a larger crowd.

I am happy to report that this statement is still correct and this show, also, blew me away.

During the week leading up to the show, I couldn’t stop thinking about which songs from his discography he might perform. What will he save for an encore? What less-known bangers will sneak their way into the set?

As I crawled through the hoards of people to my seat – yes, I had a seated ticket – I could feel the electric energy of the arena. Having found myself in the middle of the O2 a fair few times, the lucky standing ticket holders for this show seemed to be more excited I had ever witnessed before.

All three opening acts,  DJ E Nice, Tyla Yaweh, and Roddy Rich, seemed to have an easy job hyping up this already enthusiastic and animated audience. Although I didn’t know who they were, I must admit that they did a great job at opening the evening’s entertainment.

Then it was time…

Bursting onto the stage with hits from his debut album Stoney, it wasn’t long before Post Malone began to include some of the highlights of beerbongs & bentleys into his performance. He also blended a couple of his latest singles, Sunflower (from Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse) and Wow, into the already fire set. All killer. No filler. The audience was ecstatic with each and every beat, which when combined with the charismatic stage present of Post made for the perfect recipe.

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Photo by Chris Katzourakis

In many of my live reviews, especially the ones at the O2, I like to comment on the artists use of visual effects and how this adds to their stage presence; our review of The 1975 in January is a great example of this. I was expecting to write something similar with this performance, but instead, I learnt something important:

Sometimes, less is more.

Post Malone didn’t require a hugely flashy set to entice the audience, his natural stage presence was enough to grip everyone in the room. Aside from the customary bursts of smoke and indoor fireworks, the majority of the show just featured Post at this strongest; stood, alone, in front of an adoring crowd.

Despite being very familiar with Post Malone’s self-deprecating style and sense of humour, it was a little disheartening to hear him refer to the songs that clearly had so much meaning to the people around me as his “shit songs”. Similarly, in the case of his acoustic rendition of Stay, he simply said: “this is one of the slow ones so if you wanna get a beer or take a piss, now’s the time.” I recall on the night thinking ‘well, if he thinks they’re shit, maybe everyone who thinks he’s shit is right, too?’ I quickly snapped out of that mindset as I realised how important these bangers are. I know that the ‘shit’ is on-brand for Post, but I’d love to see him accept that he’s not a small Soundcloud rapper anymore – he means something to a lot of people.

In lieu of an encore, Post ended his set with a fantastic rendition of Congratulations, his personal victory song. Before he got into this, he recited the story of how people used to tell him he would never succeed as an artist and that he should give up, but “now they always say Congratulations.” This song really isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I won’t hesitate to say that Congratulations, is to the Soundcloud generation, what We are the Champions was to the audiences in the 70s; it is rock anthem for a new time, one that instils a sense of hope and pride.

Without a doubt, Post’s concert at the O2 was one of the most glorious nights of my life, and now I cannot stop thinking about it, nor can I stop thinking about what his headlining set may be like at Reading/Leeds this year. No more mid-day warmup for Post, he is in the big leagues now… if this show is much to go by, I am sure his performance will match.

Remember to keep an eye out for our review of Reading 2019, featuring Post Malone headlining.

5/5 Bytes.

Will Wilkins.

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