Machine Gun Kelly rocks

Rapper plays to packed crowd in Lincoln

Mason Schweizer, Staff Writer

Machine Gun Kelly and his band performed at the Bourbon Theatre in Lincoln Friday night for the third time in three years. Each of those shows have been in front of a sold out crowd, as do most of his shows.


MGK’s fan base, known as EST (Everyone Stands Together), are known to travel hours on end for multiple shows on each tour.

MGK and his band are currently on their “Road Trippin’” tour, one that began in California on the first weekend in July, and will conclude across the pond on Dec. 1 in Glasgow, Scotland.

One might think that four months into a tour, an artist may start to show signs of lethargy, but MGK made it clear right off the bat he was fully energized, jumping into the sea of people for a crowd surf during his opening song, the gold-selling 2012 smash-hit “Wild Boy.”

The punk rock roots that live through MGK’s music were easily identified Friday. He began the show wearing a “Sonic Youth” tee, an ode to the NY punk band most popular in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Just like nearly every show he has ever done, MGK took a break from performing his own songs for him and his band to perform their cover of the iconic Blink-182 song “I Miss You.”

After thrilling, intense performances of fan favorite such as “Sail” (his take of the Awolnation hit), “Chip Off The Block” and “Warning Shot,” the show went from an average MGK rage to a legendary, energetic and unforgettable night.

At this point, it was evident that the sound and acoustics in the venue were extraordinary. It seemed that MGK and the band were able to fully harness the sound into an absolutely breathtaking performance of his songs “Half Naked & Almost Famous,” sampled from the Young Blood’s similarly titled track “Naked and Famous,” and his cover of Rise Against’s “Swing Life Away.”

I have never felt such a powerful atmosphere in my life as I did during these two songs, and it was evident MGK hadn’t felt an energy of this magnitude many times before, stopping the performance to simply walk around the stage with a grin from ear-to-ear.

After soaking in the moment, the Young Gunner spoke a bit about how he always has a great time in Lincoln, and as a voice of the people, vowed to build a Dippin’ Dots location in Lincoln, because “we should not have to make a trip to Six Flags just to enjoy some f***ing Dippin Dots!”

After the brief intermission to vow to bring Dippin Dots to Lincoln, the fans were itching to get back to the rage. MGK obliged, urging the crowd to open up the mosh pit before covering the Limp Bizkit classic “Break Stuff.”

After the three minutes of raging (and possibly a few broken noses), MGK decided to perform some new material, including two tracks off his July mixtape, “F*** It,” and three recently released songs off his upcoming album, “General Admission,” which hits shelves Friday.

One of the songs, “Alpha Omega”, was previously unreleased to the public, and MGK told me after the show that it was the first time he played the song. “And I didn’t even show ya’ll the best part,” he said.

Scores of fans shed tears to the most recent release, “Gone,” a deep cut addressing the pain it brings to leave his daughter for months at a time to tour the country, and the pain his father left him abandoning as a teen.

After busting out his acoustic guitar to perform his recent single “A Little More,” where MGK reminds the crowd that in the ever-growingly negative world, we need to continue to show love.
It was time for the band to get some shine. Every light in the Bourbon was shut off, except for the flashlights MGK held in his hands, shining them on each band member while they performed a solo, which was highlighted by a drum solo from his drummer, affectionately known as Rook, while blindfolded.

After a smoke break and his performance of one of his biggest singles to date, “Mind of A Stoner,” MGK and his hype-man Slim urged the crowd to crouch as low as they could, as the beat to his recent smash-hit “Till I Die” began to slowly play in the background, preparing for the final song of the show.“The sea of people sitting on the ground and jumping up when the beat dropped was my favorite moment of the show,” said Charlotte Kempenar, a Kansas native who has traveled countless hours to a countless amount of shows.

“B— I’M FROM THE LAND…TILL I DIE,” MGK and the fans shouted in unison as the beat dropped, and every able-bodied person in the venue jumped in a fashion that there is a possibility the ground shook enough to measure on the Richter Scale. Not only did he perform the entire original version, but also performed the first verse to the remix of the song as well.

After thanking the crowd, chants of “MGK” brought him and his close friend, fellow rapper Dub-O, to the stage to perform their track “Thoed Ass.” Even after an encore, MGK wasn’t done.
Friday marked the third anniversary of the release of his studio debut “Lace Up,” and to commemorate the date, Kells finally ended the performance with the closing song of the album, “End of the Road.”

MGK and his band gave a performance for the ages, and the team was ecstatic after the show. I was fortunate enough to spend some time with the crew after the show and discuss the show.
“We’ve been doing this every day for five years…we should be doing this show in an arena,” said Andre Cisco, MGK’s road manager said, before going on a beautiful tangent that documented just how hard these guys have worked and how far they have come to put on the show that they put on Friday.

“You already know where you want to be, and know you deserve it, and that’s the struggle of life: you know you deserve this and know what you want, but sometimes you aren’t ready yet. Not to say we weren’t ready yet, but this show belongs in an arena. I think…this is so perfect, it almost looks fake.”

MGK himself chimed in in the middle of this rant as well, going on a profanity-laced rant in true Machine Gun Kelly fashion.

“Yo, we were f—— goin IN tonight mother f—–, we were going f—— hard b—-” the Young Gunner said with a grin.

Machine Gun Kelly is not what many consider to be the current mold of a rapper: the punk-rock influences, the skinny jeans and Chuck Taylor’s, the attitude of defiance and anarchy. Machine Gun Kelly is a rockstar. And boy did he prove that Friday.