Machine Gun Kelley had an eager crowd wrapped around the armory in downtown Minneapolis, which is becoming one of the most premier venues in the Midwest . This was the first stop of his biggest tour , so what better place to kick it off than the iconic armory in Minneapolis. The night started off with Kenny Hoopla performing and the set wasn’t the way you anticipated this tour to start off. I felt as if Kenny was bringing the energy necessary to kick off this much anticipated tour, but the whole set just felt off key and I think that was primarily because he was performing solo and didn’t have a live band with him. The fans weren’t engaged, and as I conversed with fans in the crowd it seemed as if they were all thinking the same thing, thankfully the set was short and JXDN came on and got the crowd slightly back into it, but neither openers came close in comparison to the energy MGK brought when he came out.
As the openers left the stage, the fans grew anxious and started chanting “MGK! MGK! MGK!” . Finally he came out opening the set with his intro track “Title Track” and the fans lost it . This album was mgk’s best selling album yet and it released right when covid struck , so you could tell from his aura how eager he was to get out on this tour and perform these songs , especially considering he sold over 1 million tickets to this tour and the whole thing sold out in thirty minutes. This was the biggest concert in attendance in the COVID era here in Minneapolis. The set consisted of 32 songs on the set list, performing 12/15 songs from his album “ Tickets To My Downfall” which went platinum the day of the show. It was a mostly punk rock set but he took it back and played some songs from “Rap Diablo” , his album released in 2019 which consists of mostly rap. Then he brought it back to punk rock, it was basically divided into three different acts. He also put the covers to all the tracks he released during quarantine via YouTube into the set, all the covers racked up millions of views on youtube. The set also consisted of a debut live performance of “Papercuts” , his new single off his second punk rock album “Born with Horns” which is once again executively produced by the legendary Travis Barker, the release date is still unknown. This set was one of the longest I’ve ever been a part of as he performed for two hours! He truly showcased his true skill as an artist and a performer as he was able to go back and forth from punk rock to rap. His stage presence and ability to perform are unmatched, he was very engaged in the whole show and knew how to get the crowd into it You could tell how much this show meant to him as he took a moment to reflect and speak to the crowd he said "Tonight's so special dude it's the first night that feels like it's okay to be happy in this long journey of music" He also mentioned his mom being present at the show and if you’re familiar with MGK’s discography , you know he speaks on the struggles of his relationship with his parents, so you could see in his facial expressions that having his mom present in the crowd was a big moment for him.
Overall the concert was a great experience to be a part of, Kenny Hoopla's performance was dull, but when JXDN came out the whole energy shifted , he played a great set and was the ultimate hype man, getting the crowd extremely excited for MGK to come out. As far as MGK'S performance goes it was completely flawless. A lot of artists tend to have their song playing in the background and they will let the track play out barely rapping or singing the words, they will just stand around and dance while their song plays, but MGK was built different, he is a real performer and he takes a lot of pride in his performances. Overall I have nothing negative to say about MGK and his performance. It was 10/10. Next time he comes to the twin cities, be ready to grab tickets right away because another sold out tour will be coming soon and you will not want to miss out on it!
- Zach Smith