The Night Machine Gun Kelly Brought Down the Internet


Machine Gun Kelly TorontoIt’s no secret Machine Gun Kelly isn’t a fan of the World Wide Web.

So, while it could be considered mere coincidence Rogers went dark across the country the morning after the rapper-turned-rocker and film actor brought his 2022 “Mainstream Sellout Tour” to Scotiabank Arena — one does have to ponder.

The night began with the Texas-born, and often polarizing, punk rocker emerging from a trap door before climbing a rope ladder to a hot pink helicopter — shuttling him over the crowd to the stage during “born with horns”. It was quite the entrance, and the metaphor was simple, but effective — MGK has no interest in being kept in a box, no matter what the Internet or media has to say about it.

It was also that storyline of breaking the mold that continued throughout parts through the show — with a larger-than-life marionette complete with a computer screen for a head often interrupting the festivities with droning mockery.

Overall, it was a pretty epic display, with a stellar light show, bursts of fire, the odd sparked joint, and a slightly slanted checkerboard stage that looked phenomenal from every seat in the venue. The vast majority of fans also wore their own unique combinations of black and hot pink in solidarity, giving the show an entirely unique and united feel.

And it’s exactly that kind of closeness and spiritual connection which has helped MGK amass such a devoted and fresh following over the past couple of years — something that was certainly not lost on the rocker Thursday night.

“Do you guys ever feel lonely?” he asked. “If you ever feel lonely, just press play and I’ll always be there for you.”

Luckily for us all, by the end, the helicopter returned to the spotlight, shooting down the ‘Internet’ world that has been plaguing the musician for quite some time, in a shower of sparks.

The 30-song set consisted mainly of material from his two latest albums, Tickets to My Downfall and Mainstream Sellout, with a few tracks from his rap days thrown in for good measure. And while the crowd hung on each and every word regardless of genre, it was clearly the latest incarnation of MGK that packed over 16,000 into Scotiabank Arena, as they jumped and danced with raised fists throughout the night.

Clearly, as noted by the man himself, Machine Gun Kelly has come a long way since his first Toronto performance, which drew only 60 to The Mod Club in 2011.

There were even a couple of games of rock/paper/scissors with the crowd, kicked off by a young lady holding a sign asking for “paper cuts”. The battle of digital dexterity resulted in an impromptu acoustic snippet of the song as requested, with a few other samples thrown in, just for fun.

The sold-out Toronto tour stop fell within the first quarter of the lengthy North American and European trek, which was already running at maximum speed before it got to the 6ix. The Mainstream Sellout Tour is scheduled to end in Amsterdam in October.

Avril Lavigne Toronto
Avril Lavigne supporting Machine Gun Kelly at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto – July 6. Photo by Whitney South

Surprisingly, Canada’s pop-punk princess Avril Lavigne is also a part of this tour as direct support. She performed a short eight-song set of pure hits, including “Girlfriend,” “Sk8er Boi,” “I’m With You,” and her latest hits “Bite Me” and “Love It When You Hate Me.” Fact is, our own Canadian Queen of the Black Stars continues to make us proud.

iann dior
iann dior supporting Machine Gun Kelly at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto – July 6. Photo by Whitney South

Opener iann dior was full of energy. The American rapper, singer and songwriter, who is best known for the collaboration “Mood” with 24kGoldn, has amassed over 1 billion streams, and continues to climb. His 10-song selection was also enhanced with a MGK duet “fake love don’t last” during the headliner’s set.

Machine Gun Kelly with Avril Lavigne and Iann Dior
Scotiabank Arena
Toronto, ON
July 6, 2022
All photos by Whitney South

MGK setlist:

  • born with horns
  • god save me
  • maybe
  • mainstream sellout:
  • drunk face
  • drug dealer
  • ay!
  • fake love don’t last (with Iann Dior)
  • more than life
  • die in california
  • Floor 13:
  • papercuts
  • title track:
  • bloody valentine
  • roll the windows up (Second Verse only)
  • El Diablo
  • WWIII:
  • WW4:
  • emo girl
  • Bois Lie (with Avril Lavigne)
  • lonely
  • I Think I’m OKAY
  • why are you here (partial acoustic)
  • 5150 (Partial acoustic)
  • Jawbreaker (Partial acoustic)
  • sid & nancy (partial acoustic)
  • forget me too
  • make up sex
  • my ex’s best friend
  • twin flame

Machine Gun Kelly.

Avril Lavigne.
Machine Gun Kelly.

Ian Dior:

Photo: Whitney South