The night machine gun that Kelly brought to the internet

Kelly Toronto machine gunIt’s no secret Machine Gun Kelly is not a fan of the World Wide Web.

So while it could be considered a mere coincidence, Rogers went dark across the country the morning after the rapper turned rocker and movie actor brought his 2022 “Mainstream Sellout Tour” to the Scotiabank Arena — some reflection.

The evening 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, carrying him above 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 the media has to say about it.

It was also that pattern-breaking storyline that continued throughout parts of the show – with a larger-than-life puppet complete with a computer screen to a head often interrupting the festivities with a buzzing tease.

Overall, it was quite an epic show, with a stellar light show, fire explosions, the odd lit barrel, and a slightly angled 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 fuchsia in solidarity, giving the show a totally unique and united vibe.

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

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

Luckily for all of us, the chopper finally returned to the spotlight, taking down the ‘internet’ world that had long plagued the musician, in a shower of sparks.

The 30-song set consisted mostly of material from his last two 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 latched onto every single word regardless of genre, it was clearly the latest incarnation of MGK that packed over 16,000 into the Scotiabank Arena, as they leapt and danced with their fists raised all night long.

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

There were also a couple of rock/paper/scissors matches with the crowd, started by a young woman holding a sign calling for “paper cuts”. The battle of digital dexterity resulted in an improvised acoustic snippet of the song as requested, with a few more samples thrown in, just for fun.

The sold-out leg of the Toronto tour fell in the first quarter of the long-running North American and European road trip, which was already racing at top speed before hitting 6ix. The Mainstream Sellout Tour will conclude in Amsterdam in October.

Avril Lavigne Toronto
Avril Lavigne alongside Machine Gun Kelly at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto – July 6. Whitney South photo

Surprisingly, Canadian pop-punk princess Avril Lavigne is also 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.” The thing is, our Canadian Black Star Queen continues to make us proud.

he is a lot
iann dior alongside Machine Gun Kelly at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto – July 6. Whitney South photo

Iann Dior’s opening was full of energy. The American rapper, singer and songwriter, best known for his collaboration ‘Mood’ with 24kGoldn, has amassed over 1 billion streams and counting. His selection of 10 songs was also enriched with an MGK duet “fake love don’t last” during the headliner set.

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

MGK Setlist:

  • born with horns
  • God save me
  • can be
  • sold out
  • drunk face
  • drug dealer
  • Yes!
  • fake love doesn’t last (with iann dior)
  • more than life
  • die in California
  • 13th floor
  • paper cuts
  • title track
  • damn valentine
  • roll up the windows (second verse only)
  • The devil
  • WW4
  • emo girl
  • Bois Lie (with Avril Lavigne)
  • solitary
  • I think I’m fine
  • why are you here (partial acoustic)
  • 5150 (partial acoustic)
  • Jawbreaker (partial acoustics)
  • sid & nancy (partial acoustics)
  • forget me too
  • have sex
  • my ex’s best friend
  • double flame

Machine Gun Kelly:

Avril Lavigne:
Machine Gun Kelly:

John Dior:

Photo: South Whitney