Machine Gun Kelly starts off tour at Minneapolis Armory


Alyssa Abke, Contributor

After much anticipation, Machine Gun Kelly kicked off his “Tickets to My Downfall” tour in downtown Minneapolis. On Thursday, September 9th, eager fans could be seen for blocks stretched around The Armory venue. With MGK’s biggest tour yet, there was simply no better place in the entire Midwest to start off than The Minneapolis Armory, where previous legends including Aerosmith and Prince have performed and shot some of the most iconic music videos.

While The Armory’s capacity is only 8,400 people, the energy created by such an artist before the show was clearly apparent, even on the streets surrounding the building. Although his album was released right in the middle of the COVID-19 Pandemic, “Tickets to My Downfall” has made its way to being Machine Gun Kelly’s bestselling album thus far and was easily the largest concert attendance in Minneapolis since the start of quarantine in March 2020. MGK’s 1 million tickets were sold out in just under 30 minutes, which wasn’t a surprise considering the turnout.

Machine Gun Kelly’s performance consisted of two openers: Kenny Hoopla and JXDN. Despite the crazy enthusiasm from fans before the concert, Kenny Hoopla managed to kill the energy during his opening performance. Not only did he bring silence to fans in the audience, but forced them to resort to browsing TikTok from the lack of engagement. After speaking with others in the audience, this surely wasn’t the way anyone expected such a big tour to start. Fortunately, the vibe did a complete 180 as JXDN came on.

JXDN got the people going and screaming along to his hit “Angels & Demons,” and just when the intensity of the crowd appeared to be there, it multiplied with the appearance of Machine Gun Kelly. Before the Blonde Don even spoke, ears were bombarded with fans chanting “MGK, MGK, MGK!” for minutes. The people went absolutely ballistic as he opened with “Title Track,” just one of his twelve songs included in the lineup from his recent album.

Even with the artist’s transition in music genres to a more punk style, he made sure to go back to his original roots of rap with a few “Hotel Diablo” hits, including none other than “el Diablo,” “Hollywood Whore,” and “FLOOR 13” during the second part of his performance.

MGK chose to go back to his rock style in a third act with “Papercuts” and “I Think I’m OKAY (with YUNBLUD & Travis Barker).”

Very few can manage to perform with both a rock and rap style, let alone do it back and forth in one concert like Machine Gun Kelly. His talent is unmatched, leaving his audience craving more. Unlike many other singers, especially today, Machine Gun Kelly has a voice that’s genuine and compared to a lot of other current celebrities, he actually sings at his concerts, allowing him to stop along the way and talk with fans in addition to providing a more pure sound.

Amidst all the excitement MGK was able to create during his performance for the listeners, he took things a step further and got personal with the audience saying, “It’s the first night that feels like it’s okay to be happy in this long journey of music.” Whether or not he was saying that just to win over the audience or not, is entirely unknown, but his mother, with who he has an interesting past and relationship, came out to make an appearance in the audience for the show, making the show particularly meaningful for Machine Gun Kelly.

Machine Gun Kelly certainly picked the right city to kick off with and fans were beyond glad to have him. Although Kenny Hoopla left those attending a little worried, JXDN, and of course, MGK reminded fans exactly why they came out: a great Thursday night listening to one of Hollywood’s hottest artists. Machine Gun Kelly has once again proven what an awesome performer he is and the potential he has for every individual who attended this previous week in Minneapolis. Going forward, fans better be looking closely when tickets go up for sale. These last tickets didn’t last long and as such an incredible performer, fans will want to rush to their laptops for purchases for his next tour just to be positive they get them before they are gone.