by Amanda Landwehr / Arts & Culture Editor
by Jules Banks / Features Editor
Chicago’s United Center, home to both the Blackhawks and the Bulls, has had its fair share of superstars perform on its illustrious stage. The stadium has hosted the likes of AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, Blink-182, Lady Gaga, Kanye West and hundreds of other A-list performers. On Oct. 1, singer/rapper Austin Post—known by his simple stage name Post Malone—joined the iconic club of artists as he performed the setlist for his Runaway tour. But this isn’t his first foray into the Chicago concert scene—on June 5, 2018, Post Malone performed at the Huntington Bank Pavilion for his “Beerbongs & Bentleys” tour. His return to the Windy City prompted excitement from midwestern fans, as his latest album “Hollywood’s Bleeding” dropped less than a month before the performance.
Post Malone has seen nothing but success across the charts—his Grammy nominated album, “Beerbongs & Bentleys,” debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and is certified triple Platinum. According to an article published by the New York Times, Post Malone’s latest album “Hollywood’s Bleeding” is the first record of 2019 to spend over three weeks on top of the Billboard 200 chart.
The concert opened with contemporary hip hop artists Swae Lee and Tyla Yaweh, who riled up audiences with invigorating electro-pop beats and heavy bass drops. Swae Lee, who performed the song “Sunflower” with Post Malone for the 2018 film “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse,” gave a rousing performance of hits “No Type” and “Black Beetles” that had audiences leaping out of their seats—even in the nosebleeds.
Following the two opening performances, audiences waited in high anticipation for Post Malone to take to the main stage. After what felt like hours, the stadium lights dimmed as concertgoers cheered for the arrival of the main event. A neon-lit rectangle began to ascend from the main stage as fog poured into the stadium, the elated tension of the crowd nearly tangible. Suddenly, a percussive beat picked up as audiences heard the first chords to “Hollywood’s Bleeding.”
Post Malone, dressed in plaid pants and a custom “Harold’s Chicken” tee shirt, bounced onto the stage as the audience shrieked in delight. Beer in hand, Post Malone instantly had the crowd jumping up and down as he chanted high-energy songs such as “Wow” and “Better Now.”
Often, concertgoers can be wary of a one-man show, nervous that the energy would not be maintained throughout the entire concert–especially if there’s no band to back the singer up. However, Post Malone and his team made sure that there would not be a moment of calmness or boredom throughout the nearly two-hour performance.
He ran along the long runway-like portion of the stage, surrounded by multi-colored laser lights that richoted into the crowd to the beat. During more intense songs, such as “Over Now” and “Take What You Want”, actual plumes of fire rose up from the back of the stage and lit up the lone silhouette of the rapper. That, combined with the fireworks show that accompanied the opening song and the finale, created eye-candy and an adrenaline-inducing performance that kept thousands of people on their feet for two hours straight.
It wasn’t just the impressive lights, the massive stage, or the talent of the performer himself that set this concert experience apart. As a music lover, I am often willing to drop a considerable amount of money to witness a good performance. However, I often find myself irritated with the curtness of workers, rude concert-goers, or hot, dirty or uncomfortable venues. However, there was absolutely no negative energy in the United Center on Oct. 1. It seemed as though every Post Malone fan, myself included, was simply too excited to be upset or rude. Despite the traffic jams up and down the escalators and the occasional lost person accidentally stealing someone else’s seat, everything was resolved quickly and smoothly. The diversity of fans was heart-warming: despite the obvious flooding of teenagers and young adults at the venue, older fans and kids alike were adorned in Posty gear, ready to hear him perform his hits.
Post Malone himself was polite and grateful throughout the concert. Along with his lighthearted banter and excited yelling that hyped up the crowd, he addressed the crowd with a “Thank you, ladies and gentleman!” and a classic toothy grin after every single song. The down-to-earth aura he exuded was in stark contrast to the songs “Go Flex” and “Saint-Tropez” which boasted about his wealth and success. In a way, this is why Post Malone continues to intrigue and charm the public. His success and superstar status doesn’t ever seem to get in the way of his thankfulness to fans, and that was as apparent during his United Center performance as it is in every interview and live taping I’ve seen before. Chicago already can’t wait to have Post Malone back, and I know, personally speaking, that I’ll be in the seats again screaming myself hoarse for hours once again.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment