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Post Malone’s ‘Sunflower’ effect

Once you go superhero, you don’t go back

LiFTED | Marcus Aurelius | 21 Sep 2023

Post Malone is the perfect hybrid Pop/Hip Hop/Rock star for the streaming generation. His face is covered in tattoos. He croons every word with a warble that is distinctly his. And he has a magnetic personality that draws people in from every walk of life.

On Wednesday, September 20, Posty’s If Y’all Weren’t Here I’d Be Crying World Tour swooped into Taipei at the Nangang Exhibition Center and it was chaos from the start. The VIP tickets allowed people to come into the venue earlier, so if you got the VVIP tix, you could go in at 5 pm and stand there till 8:30 pm when the show started. Also, you could buy beer really far away from where you were supposed to be standing and try and fight your way back. This is a Live Nation show and they could have done much better with this.

In 2018, I caught Post Malone at Fuji Rock. He had a guitar, some backing tracks, and an infectious manner that got people partying at the stage. Fast forward five years, and Post is now a certified capital-letter SUPERSTAR. He had a nine-piece band with violins and visuals that looked amazing even in the back of the 20,000-seat arena. What’s the difference? ‘Sunflowers’ with Sway Lee was released towards the end of 2018 as the lead song from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Once you go superhero, you don’t go back.

As the band revved up, the first song was the heartbreak anthem ‘Better Now.’ Post came out to thunderous applause and really went at it. While he’s not a classical singer/rapper, Post has his own distinct style and flavor that is inimitable. Straight into another banger, ‘Wow,’ and the band was hitting on all cylinders right from the jump. The third song was ‘Psycho’ and it’s all the hits all the time. Then, he got playful and hit the audience with a surprise, ‘Hollywood Dreams,’ his mash-up with Fleetwood Mac.

Eventually, Post starts bantering with the crowd and everyone eats it up. He’s telling people to love each other and whatnot before dropping into some songs from his new album. Soon, the riffs from ‘Rockstar’ play and it sounds great with the live band. Post does his rock part of the night, including his song with Ozzy Osbourne, ‘Take What You Want,’ and then gets acoustic. He lets a guitarist from Taipei come up and play and then goes into ‘I Fall Apart,’ which by the second half, the band comes in and puts the energy back to 10.

Finally, with the big finale on the way, the band does an amazing version of ‘Candy Paint’ and then leaves the violins stretched out just long enough to drop into ‘White Iverson.’ ‘Saucin’ on you. I’m swaggin’ on you’” Post sings over and over again. The final song is ‘Congratulations’ and the venue explodes in happiness. Many people have been there since 5, and while they are tired, they know it’s a jam.

The band goes off stage, but where’s the song they came to see - ‘Sunflower’? Within a minute, Post is back out there doing the biggest hit of his career as well as finishing with ‘Chemical.’

Leaving the venue, the chaos that existed on the way in was done. No more beer was available. The Taiwanese crowd politely waited for escalators and got on public transportation with that satisfied ‘Sunflower’ look on their faces.