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Machine Gun Kelly Puts On Great Rock Show For Sold Out
Cleveland Stadium

August 16, 2022

Machine Gun Kelly made a triumphant return home for a sold-out show at First Energy Stadium on Saturday night.

After a long set up of MGK being shown on the video screens of being in a box and flown in by helicopter, a large prop helicopter came down from the top of the stage with MGK hanging from a rope ladder.

Dressed in a pink fur coat and pink pants, MGK and his full band came out and rocked "Born With Horns," "God Save Me" and "Maybe" from his latest album Mainstream Sellout. 

Kells addressed the 50,000 fans in attendance by saying he couldn't believe he actually sold out the stadium.  He said, "I cried so hard backstage.  I can't put into words what I'm feeling."

After a few more tunes like "Drug Dealer" and "Drunk Face," MGK brought out Avril Lavigne to duet on "Bois Lie."

MGK then appeared at the opposite end of the stadium, this time dressed in orange pants and a custom Browns jersey and rapped acapella "Cleveland" and "Alpha Omega."  Afterwards, he zip lined across the entire stadium.

It was a pretty impressive site to behold.

He later admitted that he wanted to helicopter in, but that wasn't permitted.  He then came up with the zip line idea, but he had to come up with a ten million dollar life insurance policy before he was allowed to do it.  And that came just hours before the doors opened.

He brought out his friend and collaborator Travis Barker from Blink 182 to drum on the next six songs that included "Title Track," "Kiss Kiss" and "Concert for Aliens." 

Before playing "Bloody Valentine," he brought up four kids from the audience to "run around and play" on stage.  But they mostly stood my MGK and danced and played air guitar.

Before Barker departed, MGK said it was time to play one of his songs so the band tore into Blink 182's "Small Things" which became a huge sing-a-long.

I have to admit, MGK was very entertaining and kept the audience engaged.  The best part was having live musicians on stage instead of just rapping or singing over tracks like Trippie Redd did.  He also had enough theatrics, pyro and fireworks that enhanced the performance but didn't detract from it.

Speaking of Trippie Redd, he showed people exactly how you should not perform.  

Taking the stage by himself, Redd proceeded to rap over tracks that were played from backstage.  After the first song he said "I appreciate everyone that is here" and then lit up a blunt.

That blunt became the focal point of the show because after every song, Trippie left the stage to light it up.  The stage went black and there was silence for at least fifteen seconds until he decided he was ready to "sing" the next song.

It was very awkward, but I guess keeping your blut lit is more important than performing and keeping the audience engaged.

Avril Lavigne made her long awaited return to Cleveland and she rocked her eight song set. 

Looking and sounding great, she and her band came out firing with her hit "Girlfriend."

Many fans have never seen her perform because the last time she appeared in Cleveland was 2008.  So everyone was happy to hear songs like "Complicated" "My Happy Ending" and of course "Sk8ter Boi."

Willow was the first act that I saw that day and I was very surprised by her set.  Thinking back to her first hit "Whip My Hair" I was thinking her set was going to be filled with songs similar to that.

I was wrong.

She came out with a full band and played rock songs.  She also played some guitar herself.

Overall, it was great to see a sold out stadium for one of Cleveland's own.

Review by Greg Drugan

Photo credit Amber Patrick