The 2018 MTV Video Music Awards were met with a lot of criticism: the deserving artists didn’t win, the Aretha Franklin tribute by Madonna was lackluster and Avicii was almost completely ignored. I did not read much disapproval, however, about Post Malone’s performance, the finale of the night.
The grand ending of the 2018 Video Music Awards began with Post Malone and 21 Savage singing their hit “Rockstar.” Then, they rose from the basement of Radio City Music Hall to the center of the main stage, where Post Malone met Aerosmith for a collaboration on “Dream On” and “Toys in the Attic.”
Fans are a very large part of the MTV Video Music Awards. They vote for the winners and MTV fills the place with fans, raffling front and center pit tickets, seat fillers and more. MTV even stuck “Post Malone Superfans” in the basement of Radio City to jam to the very quick beginning of his performance. I was one of them, and this is how it went.
The ticketing service, 1iota, began checking tickets at 8:30 p.m. at the Women’s National Republican Club in New York City, right across from Radio City. We were lead up a staircase to the second floor, which consisted of two rooms across from each other. One room was lined with chairs for waiting, and the other room had employees locking up our cell phones.
Yes–they locked up our phones. When we walked in, we got in line to be handed a soft phone case that did not open once closed. So when our phones were locked, there was no texting, no social media and most importantly, no photography or recording.
We waited in that room for a bit over an hour. I couldn’t quite tell because I had no way of checking. Eventually, some 1iota workers explained to us what would be happening, and announced Post Malone and 21 Savage would be performing, which we were not told beforehand. The crowd was oozing with excitement.
After being moved across the street into Radio City in an elementary school-like single file line, we were crowded into an alley way of the basement of the building. For over an hour, none of us knew what was going on. All we knew is that we were stuffed into a warm, skinny hallway waiting and waiting to move again. In all honestly, I thought we missed the performance because we were there for so long.
At least an hour later, we were moved into a smoke-filled, dark area that was basically a big box with random cases and equipment lined against the wall that enclosed a large square opening with a gate around it. The opening surrounded the sunken stage and we were packed around it awaiting the arrival of Post Malone.
About ten minutes later, the music started. Lights were flashing, and seemingly out of nowhere, Post Malone was a few verses into “Rockstar” on the stage below us. Toward the end of the song, the stage rose past us “Superfans” and he was gone and out of sight on the main stage with Aerosmith.
We exited the building, had our phones unlocked and were free to roam the streets of New York City at 12 a.m.
You may be thinking that was a long wait for such a short glimpse of the rapper who has taken over music charts in the last year, and you would be right. When it comes down to it, though, it was a free concert in the best city in the world, and a performance not many get to experience live.