Post Malone returns to the US; Smashing Pumpkins maintains legendary status at BottleRock day 1.


Nick Vides

Post Malone rocks out on the JaM Cellars Stage at BottleRock Napa Valley on Friday, May 26, 2023.

Attendees were greeted on the cloudy Friday morning with tunes from the band High Noon at the Truly Stage, and danced to DJ Umami’s set at the Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage before the sun finally appeared in time for Bastille’s late afternoon performance. The marquee line ups that ensued afterwards did not disappoint.

In one word, Post Malone’s performance was electric. After a stretch of his tour led him to the UK, He returned to the US and captured the jam-packed crowd with his countless hits ranging from various time periods in his career. He performed “White Iverson”, the song that sparked his career and also gave the BottleRock audience a treat by performing two songs for the first time in the US. 

A fan favorite moment of the night was when Post Malone played his mega-hit, “Rockstar.” The different pyrotechnics were shocking during the performance. Flames exploded high up in the background, fireworks shot up overhead and the dazzling light show made the song performance a sight to see. After the song, Post Malone smacked one of his guitars multiple times on stage and gave out broken pieces of guitar as souvenirs. 

Despite having formed their band in 1988, The Smashing Pumpkins still have their edge. The audience moved in sync with the beat of “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” and sang along with their acoustic rendition of “Tonight, Tonight.” The group never lost their spark even as they approach being together for 35 years, and the crowd made sure they knew that.

The Smashing Pumpkins ramped up smoothly throughout their roughly hour and a half set, with beautiful solos from Jimmy Chamberlin, James Iha and Billy Corgan. Chamberlain especially killed it Friday night with high energy solos in multiple songs, which both mesmerized and energized the dedicated crowd. It was unfortunate that BottleRock has a cut off time, because the crowd definitely was feeling an encore. 

The Culinary Stage

Artists were not the only stars present at the festival; Super Bowl XLV Champion and nine-time Pro-Bowler Charles Woodson and four-time Pro-Bowler George Kittle made appearances on the Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage, showing off their cooking and food-guessing skills while sipping on various local wines and spirits.

Olympic gold medal winner Jonny Moseley was also seen on stage, tossing dinner rolls to the crowd. WWE wrestling twins Brie and Nikki Garcia also joined in on the fun at the culinary stage, competing against the Kittle’s in a culinary guessing game.