Rain or shine, the show must go on! Sunday evening Denver experienced flash floods that covered the highways and city streets. Nonetheless, Ball Arena acted as a safe haven for all those that made it to the show a bit early to secure their seats and collect merch. August 7th, Machine Gun Kelly rocked the night away with his “Mainstream Sellout” tour.
Kicking the night off was young up-and-coming artist Willow Smith. Advancing from her childhood path she paused her acting career to explore a more personal and experimental route which allowed her to break away from the shadows of her parents and became the hit we all know now as Willow. Dressed in what appeared to be a customized jumpsuit fit to her style with a just as colorful beanie and scarf, Willow played an hour-long set, getting the fans all warmed up for MGK. Playing alongside Willow were her three band members Liso Lee on the guitar, Zach Brown also on guitar, and Aaron Haggerty on the drums. To put it simply, Willow has pushed her limits both high and low to become a powerful voice that is a force to be reckoned with. Stay up to date with Willow’s journey by following her site such as Willowsmith.com & Willow’s Instagram
With a standing ovation from the crowd, Willow and her mates stepped off stage as the stage crews started to tear things down for the set change. With a fair amount of moving parts in the upcoming set, this took about half an hour to get set prior to the lights getting cut for the one and only MGK.
As the lights began to dim down, a voice followed by the sound of helicopter propellers stretched across the area as a video started to play on the big screens announcing that the show was about to begin! Machine Gun Kelly’s set started with a skit of him being trapped in a box in an unknown location. When asked how he got there, his reply was priceless as he yelled, “The Internet put me in here!”. Referencing the persona that the internet has time and time again tried to trap him in a box forcing him to “be” whatever it says he is.
To my surprise, I looked up at the rafters to see a spotlight on a bright pink helicopter that was flying around above the crowd, making its way to the sound booth. As it reached its destination, they lowered down a rope ladder to a dark box that appeared out of nowhere, lifting MGK out of the box that the internet has religiously tried to keep him in, very theatrical if I can say so myself. Upon reaching the top of the rafters, the chopper swung him back and forth above screaming fans as he started to sing his first song. Decked out in an all-pink thorned jacket they paused right in front of the stage for a minute as his band mates welcomed him to the stage. Definitely, one of the best entrances I’ve seen in a while.
As the show went on, they introduced the Internet as a demon-like character so big in size that it could oversee the entire stage. The clear message behind MGK’s performance was to say “F*** the Internet”. Too many times, the internet has tried to place a glass ceiling on so many different people, regardless of true facts and efforts that one has provided including MGK himself. For example, after starting his career and being known around the world as a “rapper”, he decided to switch things up a bit and explore a new style that was always within as a true Punk-Rock’n Roller. Needless to say, as he was a well-known artist already, this alone has grown his following bigger than ever before.
The stage design was one for the books as well, stacked to a full Punk’d out, black and white themed checkered board floor that was built on a slant giving the illusion that it was wreaked/falling over. Lining the stage and dangling from the rafters were a number of old-school TVs that had a variety of sell-out propaganda, fitting to MGK’s set and the message that he was trying to deliver. Sharing the stage alongside MGK were key members that helped him transition into what he is today, starring his best friend Brandon “Slimxx” Allen on the Keys, AJ Tyus on Guitar, Steve “Baze” Basil on the Bass, JP “Rook” Cappelletty on the Drums, and the newest addition to the band which is an absolute goddess named Sophie Lloyd also on the Guitar.
Throughout the show they mainly forced on their new album “Mainstream Sellout” however, you know it wouldn’t be the same if didn’t hear at least a little bit of rapping while we were at an MGK show. Mixing both alternative rock with some hip hop, I would be surprised if we soon see an album released where they focus on smashing the two styles together. Very excited to hear what is to come next. Wrapping the show up they ended with a song that MGK wrote for his newlywed wife Megan Fox, “Twin Flame”.
So many people these days are quick to judge, without truly knowing the reasoning behind one’s actions, it’s honestly quite ridiculous. MGK’s “Mainstream Sellout” album was clearly dedicated to all of those who judge (including the internet). Yet as mentioned before his following is bigger now than ever before. Proof, that if you stay true to yourself and do what makes you happy, nothing else really matters… take this into consideration next time you get caught up in your thoughts and remember, no one knows you the way that you know yourself. #FUCKTHEINTERNET