Machine Gun Kelly hosts giant rage fest at Firestone Live

Concert Review: MGK stoped in Orlando for Raise the Flag Florida Tour on 7/26

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Photo Credit: Ty Wright

ORLANDO– It’s almost as if he doesn’t believe that he is famous–Machine Gun Kelly or MGK for short, the 23-year-old east-side Cleveland wild boy takes the stage as if he still has something to prove; providing a very interactive set allowing fans to reflect on their lives but also rage out.

Rewind to March of last year, MGK was the opening act for Tech N9ne’s “Hostile Takeover” tour– now come back into today’s age, he is packing the same venues for his own tour.  In effort to support his new mixtape, Black Flag, the EST leader stopped at Firestone Live last Friday for the “Raise the Flag Florida Tour”.

Who would have thought a rapper to be punctual?  When MGK say’s he is going on at a specific time, he means it– the night of the event, an opening act was cut off in the middle of his song so that the crowd could finally see who they paid for.

“When the venue has a strict curfew, why would you want to take away from my set time?, screamed MGK, before completely throwing the promotion company underneath the bus.  “When I say I’m going on at a certain time , I mean I’m going on at a certain time.  Please remember that for the rest of this f——‘ tour, now back to this music.”

Although MGK is signed to hip-hop heavyweight Diddy the rapper has a pop-rock edge; which is evident in his attire- decked out in all black sporting a pair of cut up skinny jeans, Mick Jager t-shirt and a pair of Converse’s, and performance approach- thrashing  and headbanging through songs “Invincible” and “Breaking News” while encouraging fans to create a mosh pit.

MGK energetic 90-minute set contained a diverse amount of new and older songs– tracks like “Ocho Cinco”, “Wild Boy”, and “Ratchet” provided the perfect party ambiance, leaving females in the crowd wondering “what I need a shirt fo” as they stripped down- some even getting the opportunity to share the stage with MGK as he searched for Orlando’s “Baddest” chick in the venue.

Not everything was chaotic in fact MGK slowed things down to create an intimate feeling with his faithful cult like followers during his performance of “Swing Life Away” and one of my favorite songs of his “See my Tears”.

The show was only the second time the artist had performed songs off of the Black Flag tape but one would have never known if he didn’t warn the crowd not to judge him for messing up a note since he was still very unfamiliar with performing the songs.  The crowd came to Lace Up and sung along to every song as if they have been around for years, even during MGK closing song- “Black Tuxedos”, which marked the first time he ever performed it in concert.

T.Y. Moments of the Night:

1.  When MGK is in town their is no need for a stage; when you can use the bar, speakers, stripper pole platform, and the top of your fans hands as you crowd surf from one side of the venue to the other as a set.  Taking his performance one step higher, MGK climbed atop the ceiling crossbeam and performed “Hold On (Shut Up)” as he hung upside down from the rafters resembling Spider-man.

2.  For the longest it was a rumor that all white rappers were competing only against each other and don’t get along, it’s good to know that is not true.  Showing love to the home-team MGK called out Orlando’s own Caskey and the crowd went crazy.  If only he would have performed.

3.  Between his live band and hype-man Slim, MGK has a very solid team.  His drummer JP Cappelletty is an act all in his self.  When he was not attacking the drums- he spent time raging in the back, reciting lyrics as loud as possible while standing on top of his drum set.

Nothings Perfect:

At one point in time of every artist career they have to be an opening act– those who cherish the opportunity tends to gain new fans following the show– those who don’t usually get interrupted in the middle of their set by fans screaming the headlines name, this was the case here.  Not one act was original.  Only thing worth remembering was when a young lady took the stage and “twerked” like it was no tomorrow.

Conclusion:

It’s great to see how much hip-hop has grown, artist are implementing different styles and ideas into their persona bringing new fans to the culture.  MGK’s organized madness was just what Orlando needed heading into Vans Warped Tour.  Whether you had a big ‘X” on your hand or a beer inside of it, it did not stop people of all ages from keeping their “L’s” raised high to the ceiling all night.  When you humanize your self, it’s impossible for people to be against you.  From the energy the crowd provided it’s no wonder MGK can not stop coming to Florida.