It’s the wrong side of midnight in Nashville, Tennessee and I’m fully three sheets to the wind at the afterparty for the most recent iteration of the Bud Light Dive Bar Tour. Standing next to me at the bar is Post Malone, the star of the evening, who just came offstage a couple hours ago after turning in an electrifying performance at the Exit/In for a couple hundred people in person, and a few hundred thousand watching on their phones and laptops.
He’s still dressed in the eye-popping yellow suit he wore for the show and everyone in the room seems to be subtly vying for his attention. Suddenly, after a stretch of Ludacris cuts, the DJ drops Guns ‘N’ Roses’ immortal power-ballad “Paradise City” and Post stops all conversation to sing along with the recorded Axl Rose. As a Guns fan myself, I join in, and before I know it, we’re draping our arms over one another scatting out Slash’s iconic duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh guitar break right into each other’s faces.
While he will probably always be viewed as a hip-hop artist first and foremost — and rightfully so — Post Malone f*cking loves classic rock and roll. You probably already surmised that from the shout-out to AC/DC singer Bon Scott — RIP — in his smash single “Rockstar,” but for a full hour-and-a-half before he takes the stage at the Exit/In, the tiny crowd is bombarded with blaring loud tracks by the best ‘90s grunge has to offer: Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, etc. I’m pretty sure I also heard Nirvana’s entire era-defining album Nevermind.
To drive his rock bona fides home even deeper, once the livestream goes down and the main set ends, Post reemerges from the wings and rips into a truly amped three-song capper of Green Day’s “Basket Case,” Pearl Jam’s “Last Kiss,” and the Stevie Ray Vaughan deep cut “Look At Little Sister.” I mean, I’m as big an SRV fan as anybody, but even I was thrown for a loop by that one.