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Concert Reviews:
Post Malone brings "Rockstar" moves to Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2018

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TERLING HEIGHTS -- Post Malone went it (mostly) alone on Tuesday night, May 29, at the Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre in Freedom Hill, staking a largely successful claim as a pop headliner just two albums into his career.

It’s certainly the Texas rapper’s moment. His second album, “Beerbongs & Bentleys,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 during April and set several streaming records, following the Top 5, double-platinum success of 2016’s “Stoney.” The new album’s first single, “Rockstar,” won the Billboard Music Award for Top Rap Song.

Clearly the career arc is on a sharp ascent.

So the 22-year-old Malone (real name Austin Post) was in triumphant form on Tuesday, even if his voice, raspy at its best, showed some ravages from the road. He nevertheless strode around the stage with confidence, slightly favoring “Stoney” during the 18-song, 75-minute show and complementing his repertoire with plenty of cheerleading for the Freedom Hill crowd and an amiable, self-deprecating humor that’s all too rare in his genre.

Sporting a man bun and a large white T-shirt -- and taking jabs at his “thick” build -- Malone did plenty of things right. He introduced nearly every song in the set, save for big hits such as “Candy Paint” and “White Iverson.” He periodically stepped over the barricade to press the flesh with fans, and he was tightly in sync with the extensive recorded backing music playing under his vocals. He saluted the drinkers early in the show and casually held a cigarette later, like a hip-hop Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin.

He also kept cloying recorded features from song guests to a minimum, with Justin Bieber’s contributions to “Deja Vu” the only obvious shout-out of the night.

Malone had a bit of fun at his own expense, too; After relating his tale of romantic woe before “I Fall Apart” -- including some profanely choice comments about the woman who done him wrong -- Malone claimed, “I’m not crying. I’m just hot...” He also welcomed opener 21 Savage onstage to reprise their collaboration on “Rockstar,” during which the rappers took turns breaking the acoustic guitar Malone had played on “Feeling Whitney” and “Stay.”

Malone’s production -- a faux rock formation, light screens and a tall obelisk out of a sci-fi movie -- nicely framed his solitary performance, but it was desperately in need of spotlights. Too often Malone moved into dark spots on the stage, a real faux paux when he’s the only guy up there.

Malone has accomplished a lot in not a lot of time during his career. Tuesday’s show celebrated those achievements -- and also indicated we’ll be hearing plenty more from the rapper in the future.

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