By DEAN BIRKHEIMER | Go Venue Magazine
“The ‘machine-gun’ approach to photography – by which many shots are made with the hopes one will be good – is fatal to serious results.” – Ansel Adams
Before we start, and in case you were not aware, a hooligan left a vulgar and homophobic scribble on one of the MGK’s tour buses. MGK did address this with good spirit and to his credit did not let it impact his performance.
On August 4th 2022, in front of an enormous and passionate crowd, the CHI Health Center and Live Nations Concerts hosted Machine Gun Kelly’s Mainstream Sellout Tour.
Often loved and hated in equal measure, individuals like Tom Brady, LeBron James, Lady Gaga, and Kanye West are often labeled as polarizing. MGK could easily make this sort of list. What we may not understand is that it may be more important to be polarizing than impartial. We need people to disturb the status-quo. There are certain benefits in rattling cages, as polarizing people seem to get heaps of attention. MGK is this type of performer. He has a deep-seated belief in himself and a laser focus that points down the path of accomplishment. Love him or hate him, you have to concede that he is undeniably popular.
Machine Gun Kelly, guitarist Justin Lyons and internet marvel, Sophie Lloyd along with percussionist JP “Rook” Cappelletty, keyboardist, Brandon Allen and bassist Steve “Baze” Basil tore through a 2-hour set that had thousands of teens and college students screeching from beginning to end. I can’t say that I blame them, though. The entire show was a mammoth creation, including a colossal helicopter that lowered a ladder into a box which was, symbolically, the internet. MGK mounted and held onto the ladder as it elevated him over the awestruck crowd and steadily situated him on a sloping and rounded checkerboard stage. MGK audiences are customarily garbed in either pink, fishnets or shredded jeans. They are devoted admirers, and they enjoy being a part of the show. During Kelly’s tribute to his father, “Lonely” they turned the venue into an ocean of light as their lit cell-phones were propelled skyward and swayed from side to side.
For the duration of the event, the central topic was how the internet was tarnishing everything. There was a 30-foot Thanksgiving Day parade type of balloon in humanoid form with a computer monitor for a head. The “internet” ultimately encountered its demise when Kelly incited the audience to chant “Fxxk the Internet”. After a few minutes of this, the “internet” collapsed. So what if some of the vocals were canned, and so what if backing tracks were used in spots. The fact is, MGK played in front of 10,000 fans in Omaha, Nebraska on a school night and I don’t think anybody went home feeling vandalized.
Huge thank you to the wonderful people at the CHI Health Center. Everything is always so well organized and there is never an issue with parking and acquiring the media pass. Security treats us respectfully and is always willing to help out if needed.
BORN WITH HORNS – GOD SAVE ME – MAYBE – MAINSTREAM SELLOUT – DRUNK FACE – MEDLEY (CRAZY TRAIN, STILL D.R.E., DRUM SOLO, SEVEN NATION ARMY, GUITAR SOLO) – DRUG DEALER – AY! – 9 LIVES – MORE THAN LIFE – DIE IN CALIFORNIA – FLOOR 13 – PAPERCUTS – TITLE TRACK – BLOODY VALENTINE – ROLL THE WINDOWS UP – EL DIABLO – WWIII – WW4 – EMO GIRL – LONELY – I THINK I’M OKAY – WHY ARE YOU HERE / JAWBREAKER / SID&NANCY – LOVE RACE – FORGET ME TOO – MAKE UP SEX – MY EX’S BEST FRIEND – TWIN FLAME