Post Malone needed to prove why he's become the biggest voice in hip-hop. He failed.

"She's in there trying to get help!" yelped Post Malone, one of 2017's most successful hip-hop stars, to security guards. "She's getting smushed!"

The guards weren't listening, so Malone, a Syracuse hip-hop singer whose real name is Austin Post, jumped off the Trusts Stadium stage, weaselled his way into the crowd and sorted out the issue himself.

It wasn't the only time those messy front rows interrupted Malone's show, one that, before it kicked off, had threatened to become the hip-hop event of 2017.

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First scheduled to perform at New Year's festival Northern Bass, last night's make-up show had already been moved from the smaller Logan Campbell Centre and was heaving with nearly 7000 punters ready for a drunken trap singalong.

Many of those present had left the West Auckland streets around the venue littered with liquor bottles from concert pre-loading.

And as Malone opened with his Lil Peep dedication Too Young - hook: "I don't wanna die too young" - some were already showing signs of being worse for wear.

"My parents have split up," slurred one young lad to security guards outside as Malone took the stage. He didn't make it back in.

Those that did got messy, and were treated to a mess of a show.

This was the last night of a world tour in support of last year's Stoney album, one that turned the underground cult concern into a bonafide chart sensation, and the strain was starting to show.

At one point, the 22-year-old poured beer into a punter's shoe, sculled it back, then declared, "Those are some stinky ass feet, bro," for a ritual dubbed "the shoey".

@postmalone doing a shoey πŸ‘ž

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At another, he hit his microphone into his forehead, hurled it onto the stage, grabbed the guitar he'd been playing just moments before, and smashed it to pieces.

I Fall Apart? It's unlikely that guitar will be played in the same way again.

Then there was Malone's voice. On record, it's a soothing country-tinged hook machine, one that's positioned him as the Ed Sheeran of hip-hop.

@postmalone going Postal 🎸⚰️

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But last night it turned into a throaty nicotine-lubricated croak that often failed to be heard over Malone's backing track. Add in all those long delays to sort out crowd troubles, and the recipe for a great show had gone awry.

By the time Rockstar came around, Malone sounded hoarse and looked spent, all that time on the road sculling beers out of shoes seemingly taking its toll.

@postmalone Rockstar 🎸🌟

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There's no doubting Malone's capacity to craft hooks perfect for draping an arm around your best mate, shouting out the lyrics and holding your drink high in the air.

Or drinks. One punter shoved an entire tray of Jack Daniels and Coke cans skywards to cheers the inclusion of Malone's early hit White Iverson in the setlist.

The show did deliver moments like that, from Candy Paint's upbeat bounce to Go Flex's slow-mo stomp and I Fall Apart's soaring heartache.

White Iverson β›ΉπŸΌβ€β™‚οΈπŸ€ @postmalone

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There isn't a hip-hop artist working right now that wouldn't kill to be able to walk off stage after performing a swagger anthem like Congratulations.

But they were celebrated on the strength of Malone's song craft, not his performance.

Malone really needed to prove why, in less than 12 months, he's ascended to become one of the biggest voices in hip-hop.

After that shambles, it's unlikely anyone is any wiser. But by all means, pass him another "shoey," because he sure is loving that rock star life.

Who: Post Malone
Where: Trusts Arena, Auckland
When: Monday, January 15