Post Malone delivers compelling performance at HIVE Festival in Salt Lake City; helps soothe ‘growing pains’ of hip-hop event’s debut
File Photo: UPI / Jim Runyon
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, August 8, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) – A rousing performance by hometown hero Post Malone not only lit the crowd in Salt Lake City on Saturday night, but also casts a positive light on the young Hive Music Festival, a two-day event who stumbled out of the gate when it turned out that top acts – including one of the headliners scheduled for Friday night – weren’t shows.
Many of the fans – many of whom had spent hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on VIP packages for the critically acclaimed event – were already at the Utah State Fair Park when they learned through a Facebook post that the Suicideboys had canceled their gig. Their managers said the band was recovering from COVID-19 and told fans they would make it up to them.
Already deeply disappointed that one of two headliners would not appear, some of the festival goers were on the verge of a stroke when they discovered that promised swagbags had not kicked in – or allegedly shorted – and that the lines for concession stands were a couple of hours long .
Growing disappointment gave way to anger, and soon the HIVE festival social media pages were flooded with complaints and reimbursement requests. Some even threatened legal action.
Fans got even more excited as the festival progressed, and other acts, including The Kid Laroi and Ski Mask the Slump Dog, were dropped from the line-up.
The next day, as even more acts left the festival, attendees told Gephardt Daily that the artists who took the stage on both days were compelling and represented the cross-section of talent they hoped to see. Trippie Red, Don Toliver, Jack Harlow, Night Love, Ramirez and Dro Kenji received special praise.
Select Sound festival organizers took to social media on Saturday to resolve concerns and thanked fans for their “understanding”.
“When we go into Day 2, we hear and recognize all of your criticisms,” the statement said. “As we begin to take on each request, the one thing we have to keep in mind is that the artists that came out showed up and performed great. With the mounting pains of a festival in the first year, artists who are sick, miss flights, or withdraw are all cases beyond our control and as devastating to us as they are to all of you. Thank you for your understanding.”
Despite the upheaval, the bad feelings were largely over the moment hip-hop headliner Post Malone appeared over the stage; On a catwalk over the light grid, a drink in one hand and microphone in the other, Posty serenaded the hometown with his hit “Wow,” including his famous allusion to driving a “750 Lambo in the Utah Snow.”
With a break between songs, a relaxed but emotional Malone praised the thousands in attendance and expressed his real joy at performing live again.
“My name is Austin Richard Post, I’m here to sing some shitty songs,” he said with a laugh. “Honestly, before we start this show, I just want to say… thanks to each and every one of you for getting out tonight. It’s been a tough year … over a year and a half … and I just want to thank everyone for … you know, supporting and showing love to all these beautiful F ***** artists … and it feels f ***** g great to be able to come out and sing. “
And he sang. And so did the crowd. For the next 90 minutes. Austin Richard Post, the 27-year-old arsonist from Grapevine, Texas, held the hip-hop crowd in hand with a good old-fashioned sing-along on a smoky summer night. And what better way to start the whole thing than with a perfect rendition of “Better Now”.
At this point, the majority of those present seemed strangely peaceful, as if at that moment they had finally found what they were looking for, at least for a while.
Malone’s performance, which was steadily building in intensity and supported by top-notch visual effects, turned out to be captivating and tipped the festival experience into the plus category for many we spoke to. Others, however, remained skeptical. The fireworks were great but many said they felt a bit burned.
The talent that showed up, crowned by Post Malone, gave a hopeful glimpse into what the festival could become. Whether it gets a chance to live up to its billing can take a while.
(Writer / producer Patrick Benedict contributed to this story.)