The interesting thing about Machine Gun Kelly is that he attracts vastly different types of audiences, his musical talents range across many genres, working with artist such as; Waka Flocka Flame, Sleeping With Sirens, Little Mix and Kid Rock. Thus his audiences are packed with everyone from metal heads with studded boots and patch laden jackets to hip-hop lovers with bleached blonde hair, bandanas and baggy shirts.
Colossal opener ‘The Gunner’ had MGK on top of a concrete looking podium, backed by a simple piano track and some hollow marching drum beats. It’s not until ‘Wild Boy’ when everything gets a little out of hand. Deciding that his podium isn’t high enough, MGK goes to scale the scaffolding side of stage which runs up to the very top of the roof, by the time he’s at the top his microphone cuts off, possibly done on purpose. After a few minutes of casually falling into the sides of the stage during ‘I Can’t Walk’, the poppy rhythms of ‘At My Best’ accompanied by Hailee Steinfeld’s studio vocals are a nice mixture from the previous aggressive rap tracks and we see MGK wielding his guitar for the first and not the last time in the night.
A couple months back, MGK was all ready to set out on a North American tour with Linkin Park, but following the tragic death of the Linkin Park singer the tour was cancelled. So MGK has been honouring his tourmate with a stripped back and compellingly emotive cover of their hit ‘Numb’ at every date.
Although the venue was not completely full, MGK was not phased, and mentioned how he wouldn’t care if there was 10 people in the room or 10,000, he still gives everything he’s got. The microphone throwing, headbanging, massively changing personality performer deserved the entire Academy to be sold out and then some. Commanding every inch of the stage from left to right and all the way to the top to the pit at the bottom.
The heavy guitars of ‘Bad Mother F*cker’ peaks MGK’s heavier side, whilst ‘Till I Die’ shows his quite obvious Cleveland rap roots. Plentiful genres mixed up into one big twenty-odd song setlist on paper shouldn’t work as well as it does coming from one man, but everything works together pleasantly. From his little charismatic speeches in between songs, including a nod to the Superbad movie shouting “People don’t forget”, to his spilt persona going from one aggressive rap to sweetly sung melodies. An all round avid performer with songs you’ll have stuck in your head for days.