Syracuse, NY – While some may have seen the rainy day as a damp blanket for last night’s concert, nearly 15,000 fans were undeterred, pouring into St. Joseph’s Amphitheater from Lakeview to see Machine Gun Kelly with Avril Lavigne and Iann Dior on July 5.
The mostly college-age crowd was dressed in all black, lots of pink, fishnets and ripped jeans.
After the Dior opening, “Pop Punk Princess” Lavigne took the stage. Twenty years after the release of her debut album, her voice still rang out loud for over half an hour filled with new music and nostalgic hits.
She was dressed in tall combat boots, fishnets, a plaid skirt and top that made my former Hot Topic employee happy in the early 2000s.
Fans were treated to hits like “Girlfriend”, “Complicated” and “Sk8er Boi”. Lavigne then picked up her guitar for “My Happy Ending” between new tracks from her 2022 album “Love Sux.”
Cellphone flashlights came out for her final number, the 2002 ballad “I’m With You,” and fans sang along fervently.
The crowd cheered and took out cell phones to record video screens in the venue as a trailer for Machine Gun Kelly’s Hulu documentary “Life in Pink” played. Released on June 27, the video led directly to the show’s opening.
The set began with a video of a FaceTime call with MGK saying “the internet put me in a box.” This would be the start of his war with the internet during the evening.
Lifted offstage by a pink and black helicopter, a pink-haired Kelly appeared, dressed in dazzling pink pants and a sparkly pink and black hockey jersey bearing the name “Lost Boy”.
The evening was a wall of sound, light and pyrotechnics as the singer, rapper and actor quickly took enthusiastic audiences through his catalog of music, singing into a hand-shaped microphone stand.
Armed with three mighty guitarists, Justin Lyons, Sophie Lloyd, Steve “Baze” Basil, and a hard-hitting drummer named Rook (in Travis Barker’s absence), fans were all too happy to follow Kelly with deafening cheers and energy. unending.
Upstate New Yorkers may have recognized bassist Baze, a Spencerport native whose family hosted the band on July 4 with a barbecue, but there was one key element missing.
“They didn’t cook hot dogs,” Kelly joked.
There was plenty of shouting in Syracuse throughout the nearly two-hour show. It’s a city Kelly is no stranger to as he spent time in the area in 2018 while filming American High’s “Big Time Adolescence,” which he filmed with Pete Davidson. He told an abbreviated story to the public about how he bought a yellow Chevrolet Camaro while in central New York and drove while eating mushrooms before being caught by the pond of koi in the lobby of his hotel.
Kelly introduced his band, each taking a solo and playing classic riffs like piano from Dr. Dre’s “Still DRE”, drums from Marilyn Manson, guitar tabs from Black Sabbath and bass from “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes.
Highlights of the evening were also the reappearances of Dior and Lavigne to perform their songs featuring MGK.
Kelly kept security on her toes as she dashed around the edges of the audience during songs to sing to her fans.
Although the Cleveland-born artist has transitioned his career from rap to rock in recent years, Kelly showcased his lyrical talents with the fast-paced “Floor 13,” backed by powerful heavy metal-inspired guitars that hold united on the front of the stage.
A fun moment from the show was a newly engaged couple who took the stage and got to dance and celebrate with Kelly as they performed “Emo Girl.”
Emotions ran high overnight as Kelly commemorated his father, who he lost two years ago on July 5. In an Instagram video posted before the show and during the concert, Kelly called the day’s rain a blessing.
“I feel like it’s just him letting us know he’s watching the show,” he said. “Pops, I love you.”
The venue turned into a sea of cellphone flashlights as Kelly sang “solitaire,” a tribute to her late father. In the somber moment of silence he took to himself at the end of the song, fans cheered “MGK” in support.
Running through the night was the Internet theme that ruined everything. A 30-foot personified internet with a human body and computer screen head dominated the stage for the majority of the show. As he hurled insults at Kelly, he fired back with his words and his helicopter on stage.
“The message of this show is to show the confidence of our generation,” he said. “What I say matters, the people around me matter.”
He called out to the public to shout at the creature, “F–k Internet!” and “Internet” finally met its demise and chickened out.
At the end of the evening, Kelly sang “Twin Flame”, the song he recorded on Megan Fox’s first birthday that he spent with her. As the ballad blossomed into an explosion of sound, so did the stage, raining down fireworks, raging flames and billowing clouds of smoke.
If luck is on Syracuse’s side, Machine Gun Kelly will bring its energy and entertainment to central New York. And next time, we’ll make sure to bring the hot dogs.
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