Post Malone, post-show

Post Malone<i>.</i>

Post Malone.

Photo by Ashley Hayes-Stone

Post Malone doesn’t look like your typical “sensitive” artist. His face is tattooed with barbed-wire and the words “Always Tired” on either cheek, and gold grills evoke a materialistic rap star.

But there’s more to “Posty,” which is what fans call the post-pop/rap crooner, than meets the eye. About 15,000 fans packed Golden 1 Center on Sept. 19 amid a flash of multicolored lights and guitar plucks. Malone, real name Austin Richard Post, emerged from the catwalk, somberly belting out the opening song, “Hollywood’s Bleeding.”

The 24-year-old musician, along with openers Tyla Yaweh and Swae Lee, made Sacramento their fourth stop on Malone’s Runaway Tour. The shows are in support of his third album, Hollywood’s Bleeding, which was released Sept. 6.

Malone fueled the crowd with stage jumps, raised arms and hype-man antics. After the second song, “Better Now,” the singer lifted a blue cup toward a packed house.

“I’m here to play you some music and get f---ed up while we do it,” he told them.

Malone’s big break came in 2015, when his single “White Iverson” went viral on Soundcloud. Since then, he’s gone triple-platinum with his 2016 debut album Stoney. His second record, Beerbongs & Bentleys, was nominated for four Grammys this year. And as of Sept. 30, Hollywood’s Bleeding still ranks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, making it his second album since “Beerbongs & Bentleys” to top the U.S. chart.

He performed songs from the new record, including moody breakup anthems “Take What You Want,” “Circles” and “Goodbyes.” The stage was minimal: a simple runway blasted laser lights, pyrotechnics, giant projections and fog. Especially fog, fitting for the artist, who mentioned early in the show that most of his songs are sad.

Malone hopped on the guitar during “Stay,” a haunting tune from Beerbongs & Bentleys that provoked swaying of glowing cellphones. Some of the night’s last songs included rapper Swae Lee, who threw sunflowers onto the crowd as they both delivered their duet single, “Sunflower,” from the 2018 animated movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. During “Rockstar,” Malone channeled his inner rock ’n’ roller and smashed a guitar.

Before ending the night with “Congratulations,” his 2016 hit about perseverance and overcoming the haters, Malone offered some advice.

“Sacramento, this is my way of telling y’all, live your f---ing life,” he said. “Be whoever you f---ing wanna be ’cause you can do f---ing anything.”