Machine Gun Kelly, O2 Academy, Birmingham - review

Music | Published:

Following a tragic year of loss, the musical world still has plenty to be thankful for, and Cleveland’s own Machine Gun Kelly set out to demonstrate that at the O2 Academy last night.

Machine Gun Kelly played the O2 Academy as part of his eight-show UK tour

His intimate eight-show UK tour touched down in the Midlands for a fleeting moment yesterday, and the Young Gunner treated his loyal fans to a night of song they’ll never forget.

Carrying a wealth of emotion in to his set MGK wore his heart on his sleeve throughout, performing each and every track with a picture book of greats who played before him likely running through his mind as inspiration.

With those thoughts in mind, it didn’t take long to break into his new repertoire, opening up with Young Gunner to rapturous applause, before performing his recently released pop punk inspired track, Let It Go.

One of the US performer’s calmer tracks, Let It Go was used as an early reminder that life is fleeting, and love is lost really easily.

The song was not only well received by his UK audience, it also seemed to help settle an otherwise rowdy Birmingham crowd.

MGK finished with a tribute to Linkin Park's Chester Bennington, who died this year

MGK’s loyal fans usually roll heavy, and roll loud, but the Ohio native's ability to work the crowd slowed down the aggressively charged atmosphere that permeated through the air early on.

From start to finish, Kells used his intimate settings and close relationship with his fans to keep the night at his pace.


With a set list that featured many of the works off his newly released album titled ‘Bloom’, as well as a few of his up and comer tracks that some of his earlier fans might remember, MGK provided everything his loyal following could have asked for.

Not only did he perform with heart, soul, and that Cleveland born charisma that he carries so well, but he also took the time to remember those that have left us this year through one circumstance or another.

This was epitomised by his ode to Linkin Park’s former front man, and rock icon, Chester Bennington.

Bringing the crowd close to tears, MGK took a moment out from his own work to honour a performer who touched millions of hearts around the globe, and one that Kells himself was fortunate enough to share a stage with earlier this year.


Performing his own version of the band's classic, Numb, MGK connected with a crowd that for a brief moment, shared every one of the feelings that exuded from the Young Gunner himself.

A touching moment in time for all involved and one that was a pleasure to be in the crowd for.

By James Stride


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