The following review was written by Lotus Reigns
The icy streets of Cleveland, OH melt when Machine Gun Kelly’s XXmas show burns down the Wolstein Arena!
If you don’t already know, which you should, Cleveland is MGK’s hometown and represents till he dies with no apologies and the message delivered with love for his fans and delivered it all night, baby! Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. Strap on your seatbelts and enjoy the show.
Walking into the arena I see beautiful re-presenters of all ages, getting their drink and food of choice while the DJ warms up the excited crowd. The staff there was not pushy or stressed, but was kind and helped when needed and finding the seats was not a pain at all, instead very well organized and I didn’t feel vertigo when I walked up those arena stairs, ya feel?
The lights go out. The Dj Music dissipates into the voice of the crowd. The voice turns into a chant! Can you guess what that chant is? That’s right. “MGK! MGK! MGK!” White, bright lights shine into the darkness that is the crowd with a dash of red moving lights, coming together- to a point-to the third row. —A man comes out, guitar hanging off his neck and puts up the X with his arms then starts ripping on his guitar! Cue the golden lights bursting outwards, the white smoke bombs and there– on a raised stand is MGK “I AM A GOLDEN GOD!” he says, which is one of the songs from the new album: “Bloom.” He has his whole band with him on stage; drums, keyboard, guitar, everything and of course Slim! —you still with me?–back to the show!
To end off the song, there is a guitar solo to trail off into MGK saying “Cleveland tonight, I AM THE GUNNER!” –In an instant– the lights turn to a magical blue then red smoke bombs jump to the beat drop! He just stands there and takes everything in, listening to his loyal fans chant: “MGK, MGK, MGK” and says: “We got all night to soak this in, baby!” he takes his time– “Let’s see if you’ll remember this one.” The stage lights up like a xxmas sangria then back to black. “Cleveland, it’s a goddamn shame.” Spotlight on MGK. He said, “I am so CLEVELAND! It’s a GODDAMN SHAME!” The crowd rumbles the arena, Cleveland is blue lit on the full moon-shaped back screen, ready for that just CLASSIC song Ft. Dubo, off the “Lace Up” album!
Now, between songs, Machine Gun Kelly would tell the crowd a story about the song and his experience as a musician. Which entails- stories of Him and Slim actin’ a fool, half-naked, out west in the street- just to show the ugly and beautiful truth behind the music. After storytime, under the blue wonderland, MGK shouts: “Let’s start the fucking show!” “If you know the words, sing along!” segueing to the next song: “At My Best” ft. Hailee Steinfeld. During the song, MGK feels the energy in the room, grabs a guitar and just jams out to this heartfelt and inspiring song then throws it backstage with rockstar grace!
One of the many speeches, if you want to call them that, he would say between jam sessions were the most sincere things, to say in a show, that I have ever experienced. His sincerity and happiness filled the arena along with the songs and had a snowballing effect when his loyal fans would contribute. He would say things like “It’s a big night for this moment. For everyone who watched this grow. A night that we dreamed off. People said that it’s not possible, but it is! If you have dreams, come on Cleveland, take them home. CLEVELAND this is the place where dreams come true.” After he said this particular “speech” the band played the song “Home” from “Bright” The Album! Energy tornados throughout the arena and he says: “you feel that up there?” and the answer was yes. We really COULD feel that REAL hope, peace, and sincerity that we created. Then MGK caught his guitar, everyone put their hands up, then everyone jammed at the chorus!
Another story he told us was about his father and daughter and how they were kicking it tonight in the hometown. Also how he felt like he needed to close some chapters in his life TONIGHT. He talked about Chester Bennington (past singer of Linkin Park) and his passed aunt Barbara then tributed his next song to them, closing those chapters for himself. “I want you to hear me tonight.” To his fans: “If ya’ll know the words, help me sing.” Piano starts in for the cover: “Numb” by “Linkin Park” MGK sings humbly on his knees with the support of his fans.
After the song, he gets up and says: “This is not the night of sadness” “This song is called “Kiss The Sky”.” He flows in not missing a beat, filled with joy as the stage shines out midnight blue, lighting the stars in the seats. The music goes back to “I become so numb” blending the two songs. “Let’s do this one together!” Everyone sings “Kiss the sky” together till the end. After the end cheer, he asks the crowd: “Who in here is apart of making my album: “Bloom” go gold?” People cheer to let him know and he thanks everyone for that and he goes on to talk about evolving and how nobody shows us how to evolve and each person has to do that for themselves.
Then he played a NEW SONG: “The Break Up” After he said “I woke up in Cleveland motherf*cker!” then played the headbanger: “Trap Paris.” The crowd roars to end the song. Checking in, Mgk talks into the song: “Young Man” Ft. Chief Keef with the crew dressed in all black partying in the back. An eerie, deep voice fills the stadium, ending the song to start a new and announces the arc of the song: “Alpha Omega.” Next, the lights go down for an epic red and white light show for the epic song “Bad Motherfucker” Ft. Kid Rock. I enjoy when MGK does that rock star scream at the tail of the song!
During he’s Lil’ break between songs he joked around about drinking too much eggnog and how much he loves the song he makes when he opens up a bottle of tequila! “Pop!” hahaha Then told a story about him and Slim, one block away, seven years ago, selling out a show and says: “Let’s live in the past for a moment!” segueing to perform: “Almost Famous.” After that song, MGK shouted out to all the dreamers that work and provide and played: “Go For Broke”
After he asked his fans if he could smoke fire with them real quick then asked if anybody had a lighter then a fan in the front handed him one! Then BOTH started smoking a jay together, making the arena reek of that sweet smell of cannabis. A perfect way to start “Wake + Bake” From one of my favorite albums: “Bloom.” To the guitarist, MGK says “numb my fucking face.” The guitarist numbed a lot of our faces with a ripping solo! At the end, MGK said: “I’m not done smoking!” The sound of falling sparkles fills the air, he says: “Walk up in the spot with hella refer on me..” Now take it away reader if you know the song! He played another new song: “Habits.” And played a song he wrote on an acoustic guitar on his bed: “Let You Go.” Of course, also played “Till I die!”
During the show, MGK just took everything in and lived in the moment which let his fans take it all in. It was actually a spiritual time for him and his longtime family, friends, and fans. And accepting, letting people know that you are not gonna like all his songs, but that’s okay cause there is a lot of songs and some are for you. The show was more than I expected and I hope his fan base grows because he sure takes care of his fans, just being himself and spreading the energy!
If you haven’t checked his music out. I recommend it.