In case you were under a Graveler-shaped rock, Pokémon celebrated its 25th birthday with a virtual concert this past weekend. On Feb. 27, Post Malone, an artist literally as old as Pokémon, was the sole act of the night, performing some of his hits and a cover of Hootie and the Blowfish’s “Only Wanna Be With You” as part of the set. The show was ultimately a short but sweet visual tribute to the series’ legacy.
Starting in a stadium, an awkward digital avatar of Posty took center stage and began performing his song “Psycho” before a Pikachu electrified his platform, sending it flying. From here, the platform flew through a variety of environments, beginning over a grassy field with a Pikachu, Eevee and a predictably asleep Snorlax. The platform eventually settled in a forest lit up by glowing Shiinotics, where my boy Torterra was vibing to Posty’s 2019 hit, “Circles”.
If you know Post, you know his lyrics don’t exactly mesh the best with the series of games primarily directed at kids. This made it incredibly hilarious when Posty belted out “You thought it was special (special)/ But it was just the sex though(the sex though),” completely unfiltered while the majestic legendary Pokémon Lugia is flying overhead. While any curses (we’ll get to that in a bit) are filtered out, this made the cut. The result: Visual poetry in motion.
After “Circles” Post and the platform dove into the ocean for his rendition of “Only Wanna Be With You,” which may have been the sole song of the show which used a studio recording. Through the other performances, you get a hint that Post may have actually performed them in some way uniquely for the show, complete with the kind of chants a performer will do to hype a crowd before a chorus. While this means the quality on this one song is more polished than the rest of the set, it also stands out like a sore thumb.
This song brings us to a magma-filled cave which didn’t exactly match the vibe, but nothing about the concert made sense so it only committed to the bit. To end things, Post performed his song “Congratulations,” which features Quavo of the Migos, who’s briefly heard at the start shouting out his producer Metro Boomin. If you didn’t know, it’s been hugely important to me that the Migos play some role in this celebration, so I’d just like to take a moment and celebrate that I manifested this cameo.
“Congratulations” features a few more curse words than the other songs on the setlist, and thus was censored more than the rest. Still, it doesn’t make it any less funny how little this artist and series add up. At one point in the song and show, Post raps “For the money, I’m a savage, yeah/I be itching like a addict, yeah/I’m surrounded, twenty bad bitches, yeah,” and it’s just the absolute best knowing what’s under that censor.
With that, the weird (and honestly inspired) show came to a close, with Post landing back at the stadium to a fireworks show. Once there, he thanked the fans (again, like it was a live show), saying, “Pokémon fans, thank y’all so much. Thank y’all for 25 beautiful years. I love y’all so much this has been an incredible experience for me and I’m so very honored. Thank y’all so very much and happy Pokémon Day.”
After that, the show teased the P25 Music Program, the yearlong musical celebration of the Pokémon franchise this concert was part of, and announced that reggaeton artist J. Balvin would be joining in the festivities. He, alongside Post Malone and Katy Perry, are the only confirmed artists so far.
You can watch the full concert below.