MACHINE GUN KELLY brings the Mainstream Sellout Tour to Leeds, UK

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Thursday night was the last stop in England on Machine Gun Kelly‘s Mainstream Sellout Tour before he headed off to Glasgow and Dublin to complete the UK leg of his tour. You wouldn’t believe he’s nearing the end of his worldwide jaunt with the tireless energy and faultless vocals he projected to the 13,000 people at the First Direct Arena! 

Everything was MGK. You just knew instantly that he hand-picked the support acts, picking a concoction of his own eclectic style; 44phantom – pop-punk through and through, catchy lyrics and addictive guitar riffs, and and the other, Iann Dior – hyping up the crowd with his hip-hop/rap with shots of alternative discography, including big hits “Mood” and “Sick and Tired”.

MGK (A.K.A real name, Colson Baker) echoed this in his own set, switching from his pop-punk anthems to the throwback rap hits in seconds, not losing vocal quality in the slightest – it was impressive to witness to say the least!

If you ever feel lost out there, just put on your headphones,” he says to the crowd before going into “die in california”. His setlist was a diverse mix of his discography, including “fake love don’t last”, “lonely”, and massive single “Bloody Valentine”.  He also played some earlier tracks from his fifth studio album Hotel Diablo including “Floor 13”, “El Diablo” and “Glass House” that had the entire crowd shouting back the lyrics.

England is full of magic, and not just Harry Potter sh*t”, going onto say he believes in the myth of Stonehenge rocks moving to sound frequencies, and wishing he was born in this country. He had flames, he had pyrotechnics, he even had magic when he brought on a street magician in this little break, resulting in him levitating off a table! Perfect bridge into the next song, “I just levitated, now I want to see all of you levitate!”. The show was mesmerising, from special and visual effects to the soaring, contagious energy he brought with each song. Each member of the band even had a matching vitality to MGK’s which really added to the expansive experience of the show. He frequently referred to Machine Gun Kelly as him and the band, a whole unit that is not solely him, which I found quite endearing.

Colson really seems to be a jack of all trades, proven when he performed a raw acoustic medley (not without stealing a pink cowboy hat from a fan in the crowd) of “love race”, “why are you here”, “jawbreaker” and “sid & nancy” which really emphasised his natural vocal ability and got the crowd singing along, a perfect calm before he storms the stage again!

In the corner of the stage, a dark large figure with a computer as a head stands, resembling the internet. Colson brought a strong message of not letting the internet, or anyone’s opinions, control you and frequently referring to the internet as The Invisible Room throughout the show. He eventually tells this figure to deflate, symbolising its lack of importance before going into the next song, “WWIII”.

He finished the set with energetic, crowd-screamers “forget me too”, “my ex’s best friend” and intense guitar-driven ballad, “twin flame” to close the show perfectly.

Afterwards, he hung round the stage with his band preparing to leave as his music played through the venue’s speakers, taking it all in. A casual ending, a contrast to the creative madness of the set.  His latest album is ironically named mainstream sellout but I think Colson, MGK, really goes against the grain with his music, energy and creativity – he is exceptionally unique. He told the crowd not to let anyone put dirt on the band, to tell everyone what we saw today – and I’ll definitely be doing that.

Photos and words by Jen Charlie: Twitter // Instagram // Facebook

Keep up with Machine Gun Kelly: Twitter // Instagram // Facebook

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