Machine Gun Kelly @ AB, Brussels, Belgium

Words: Miljan Milekić

It’s hard to explain what kind of music Machine Gun Kelly does. It would be easy to say it’s hip hop, and it wouldn’t be incorrect, but it’s a lot more than it. Machine Gun Kelly‘s music is almost as rooted in punk rock, hardcore, and nu-metal as it is in hip-hop. After all – who else calls his mixtape ‘Black Flag,’ covers Rise Against and Blink-182, performs with Papa Roach and tours with Linkin Park?

The diversity of his influences easily translates to his crowd, so the Main Hall of Brussels venue Ancienne Belgique was filled with fans from all different backgrounds. Rappers, hip hoppers, punks, and metalheads, with all the band T-shirts, from Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit to Sleeping With Sirens. Quite the same goes for their age.

Backed by a four-piece band, Machine Gun Kelly gives his music a makeover, making it far more energetic, more aggressive, and with a lot more organic feel. He didn’t need much time to get the crowd going, and the response was more than adequate – singalongs, screams, lighters or huge mosh pits, depending on the song. One of the most emotional moments of the show was during the ‘Kiss The Sky’ and cover of Linkin Park‘s ‘Numb’ which together served as a tribute to Chester Bennington.

Although he did dig into his back catalog, most of his set consisted of new material. Released in May, the new record ‘Bloom’ was a big success with the crowd, so there’s no surprise it’s been welcomed on this show, too. Machine Gun Kelly is an artist of today, someone who is important now, at this very moment, and he is aware of it. With his genre-breaking music, he’s ready to crash the borders and connect all the different people. And he’s pretty good at it.

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