Machine Gun Kelly – O2 Institute Birmingham, UK (30th August 2019)

“Scream to enter” was one of the first images that popped up on the screen seconds before Colson Baker, better known as Machine Gun Kelly, showed up on stage with his crew.

On the last Friday of summer 2019 Birmingham was buzzing and O2 Institute was not an exception. By the time MGK came on stage the venue got packed with his hardcore fans and those who heard of him because of his diss-track addressed to Eminem or because of his role in the film The Dirt (2019) – autobiography of 80’s glam rock band Motley Crue where he played the band’s drummer Tommy Lee. The rapper Setlis included his new material from 2019’s album Hotel Diablo, as well as his most well-known tracks such as “‘Till I die” and “The Break Up”, “Rap Devil” – Eminem’s diss-track, Motley Crue’s “Shout at the devil” during which MGK swapped places with his drummer, his collaboration with Yungblud “I think I’m OKAY”, and many more fun, lyrical and honest tunes.

During the whole gig MGK was interacting with the audience, making the concert more intimate and welcoming thanks to his personality and wit. For instance, “Which is it – BirminGam or BirminHam?” was one of the first questions the rapper asked showing his respect to the local fans. Before playing “I’m not OKAY” he commented on the UK’s music scene by saying that UK has “the best music” and adding “ya’ll are so lucky” to which the audience responded with ovations and obvious agreement. The concert was accompanied with visuals that resembled the theme of Machine Gun Kelly’s new album Hotel Diablo with animations of demons, hunting hotels, fire, as well as parts of the rapper’s music videos. Both fans of rap and rock appreciated the rapper’s performance as his band was playing live drums and guitars. Colson remembered the late Chester Bennington in “Glass house”, covered Billie Eilish and Oasis and left a great impression.

He’s a great example of how one should follow his dreams – with confidence, respect and honesty. And these are the main characteristics that so many of his listeners appreciate about him. We hope Machine Gun Kelly comes back to the UK soon but until then we are sending him as much positive energy as he is sending to his listeners.