Machine Gun Kelly came to Baltimore Soundstage last Friday gave a fantastic performance. The show would have been perfect if not for the one and a half hour wait that fans had to endure to see him. MGK’s show was billed to start at 8:00 with doors opening at 7:00.
Arriving to Soundstage at 6:30, there was already a line of devoted fans waiting to get in. Shortly after seven, the line started moving and fans were allowed into the venue. Within thirty minutes there was already a belligerent drunk yelling who was removed by security after a lengthy twenty minutes only to reappear just ten minutes later only slightly more calm than before.
Eight o’ clock came and went and still no music. Fans became more and more unhappy as time went by and finally at around 8:30, someone took the stage. It was not MGK. In fact, I don’t know who it was. I still don’t know who it was. This mystery performer was nothing to get excited about and the only thing that I remember about him is that he kept promoting his project “Smoking in Public” (a google search of this title does not yield any results about a rapper or an album but just yields news articles about smoking bans in public housing.)
After his thirty minute set, this performer left the stage and the wait for MGK started again. Finally at about nine thirty he took the stage and began what turned out to be an amazing performance. After performing a song, MGK addressed the audience making light of his hour and a half delay and essentially calling anyone who complained a bitch because it was only 9:30.
The energy in the performance more than made up for any lateness. MGK has tremendous stage presence and made use of the entire stage throughout his set, constantly moving around, never seeming to get tired. This was even more impressive as he made the news only a few days earlier when he was forced to cancel shows due to a broken sternum.
What also made the show so amazing was that, unlike many hip-hop artists, MGK was backed by a band with the majority of the music being played live rather than being played off a recording or mixed by a DJ. MGK also did a lot more than sing. For a number of songs he joined the band on guitar even playing one of his songs acoustic undeniably proving his versatility as a musician.
Speaking of versatility, the show included a fair share of rock – something that would not be surprising to many fans as MGK has stated he has been influenced by the genre. His overall skill as a musician was proven further when he slowed the show down for songs such as “Let You Go.”
With a new album, bloom, slated to come out on May 12, one would wonder if the large amount of the show dedicated to his rock roots rather than hip-hop means that this album will feature MGK venturing into a different genre. No matter what he does, if he brings the same energy that was seen in his performance it will without a doubt be a must-listen for anyone interested in the artist. His blending of rock and hip-hop as well as his ability to seamlessly transition between different styles of music made for an unforgettable performance and left local fans excited for when he returns to Baltimore.