Post Malone is kind of a big deal right now.
His just-released album “Hollywood’s Bleeding” had the second biggest debut of any album in 2019 (just behind Taylor Swift) and he’s all over social media for introducing the world (or at least his extensive fan base) to Ozzy Osbourne.
So, the hype for his tour stop at Fresno’s Save Mart Center was real.
And Malone (known as much for his face tattoos and general aesthetic as for his music) delivered during his performance Saturday night to a close-to-sold-out (and utterly enthusiastic) crowd.
“You guys have come with some energy tonight,” Malone said, before breaking into “Saint-ropez,” the video for which dropped this month.
Malone played 21 songs in all, pulling mostly from “Hollywood’s Bleeding” and showcasing some new musical range.
“Allergic,” with its retro pop vibe, was a particularly bright spot in the set, as was ““Take What You Want,” if just for Ozzy’s backing vocals.
Longtime fans also got their favorites: “Pyscho,” “White Iverson” and “Rock Star,” which came late in the set and saw Malone smashing a guitar (and then stomping on it and then pouring his drink on it, because that’s what rock stars do).
In some ways, Malone’s stage show comes off as understated. Sure, there’s the laser lights and some pyrotechnics and literal blazing fire. But the performance takes place on a single piece of runway stage jutting into the audience withe Malone singing to backing tracks.
There’s no elaborate set pieces, backup singers or dancers, no 14-piece all-star band (a la Justin Timberlake).
The only props that made it to the stage were an acoustic guitar (not the one he later smashed) and a mic stand, which showed up about midset and seemed to be there just to give Malone something to lean on for a quick (and deserved) bit of rest.
Opening the show was Tyla Yaweh, a young Florida rapper who Malone discovered and signed. Yaweh came bouncing onto the stage in a red puma track suit and sneakers and ended up out in the crowd for a singalong for the song “Drugs and Pain.”
“I take drugs to ease my pain. I make money, that’s my trade.”
As an opener, the arena setting may not be the best venue for the kind of packed-in heat that his music deserves.
Other thoughts on the concert
The star’s real name is Austin Richard Post.
There was a steady stream from the smoke machines on either side of the stage for the entire show. It gave the whole arena a nice haze.
Yay for the video footage of Ozzy during “Take What You Want,” even if much of the crowd was probably asking themselves, “Who’s the old guy with all the eye shadow?”
At least one person in the audience had temporary face tats to match Malone’s, which is a solid merchandising idea.
The proliferation of cell phone lights is seriously the best thing to happen to arena concerts in the last decade. It adds instant atmosphere and looks awesome every time.
Runaway tour set list, Sept. 21, 2019, Save Mart Center, Fresno
Die For Me
I Fall Apart
Take What You Want
Joshua Tehee: 559-441-6479, @joshuatehee