“Whaddup you U.K. fucks?” jokes Machine Gun Kelly as a way of greeting the young Yorkshire crowd attending the latest date of his current “27” U.K. tour. Foul-mouthed and over here, the American rap star is living up to his bad-boy image to the point where the venue even cut his mic off as he scales the rigging at the side of the stage. Of course it’s all very textbook stuff but there is nothing remotely clichéd about his beautifully emotional rendition of Linkin Park track “Numb” played in dedication to the late Chester Bennington. It’s a touching moment in a set that, otherwise, lives up to the reputation MGK has built up.
Part rap, part rock, all attitude, Kelly spits and machine gun blasts his lyrics out on tracks that range from the relentless “Alpha Omega” to the touching “Kiss The Sky”. Having won over the Download crowd with his explosive performance at this year’s festival, MGK has this crowd hanging off every word. On the downside, if you’re just a casual listenere, due to the rapid-fire ferocity of his delivery, sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the star. The likes of opener “The Gunner” set the tone for a performance from an artist who, while by his own admission, doesn’t see himself as a “very good role model”, is certainly the kind of artist who, like Linkin Park, is helping to bridge the gap between the rock and rap scenes for young fans and, as far as we’re concerned, that’s definitely a good thing.