Machine Gun Kelly takes Mainstream Sellout Tour to Oakland
On Tuesday July 19th, Machine Gun Kelly’s Mainstream Sellout Tour hit Oakland Arena with special guests Avril Lavigne and WILLOW. The anticipation for this tour was extremely high due to all three artists releasing new albums prior to hitting the road together, all featuring a collab of some sort, as well as Colson Baker (aka, Machine Gun Kelly) releasing a new feature documentary via Hulu titled, Life in Pink. A preview for the documentary was shown even during the intermission between Avril and Machine Gun Kelly’s set: it’s told from Baker’s perspective, as he recounts his life leading up to this moment and the making of the new album.
Opening the show was WILLOW, with songs off her latest album lately, I feel EVERYTHING, including “t r a n s p a r en t s o u l”, “Gaslight”, “don’t SAVE ME”, “Lipstick” and “Come Home”. The album version of some of these songs feature Travis Barker (of Blink-182), so you know it’s got a heavy pop punk feel. WILLOW’s vocals were on fire and the energy she had with the audience and her lead guitarist made for a very hypnotizing set. She closed out with fan-favorite “Meet Me at Our Spot”, “Wait a Minute!” and, last, but not least, went out with a bang playing her newly released single “<maybe> it’s my fault”.
The audience was definitely left wanting more.
Next up for the night was the ‘Queen of Pop Punk’, who needed no introduction. Avril Lavinge is in the midst of celebrating the 20th Anniversary of her debut monumental album Let Go — a personal all-time favorite of mine. The stage was decked out in red with black balloons to follow the theme from the newly released album, Love Sux. The arena went absolutely crazy for Avril and sang along with her for the entire set, which opened with “Girlfriend”. Lavigne then played “Bite Me” and “What the Hell” from the new album. Next, in honor of the 20th Anniversary of her debut album, Avril played her very first single, “Complicated”. For “My Happy Ending”, Avril brought out her guitar and then went into new song from the Love Sux album, “Love It When You Hate Me”. To close out the short set, Avril finished with classics from the first album, including “Sk8er Boi” and “I’m With You”, the latter of which had the audience waving along with their lighters or phone flashlights… a beautiful ending to a nostalgic set.
Now for the grand finale — Life in Pink star Machine Gun Kelly! Literally flying in on a pink helicopter, MGK kicked things off in jaw-dropping fashion. Not only did he fly in hanging from a helicopter ladder, the stage production included a black-and-white tilted checkered stage, a giant robot (that appeared later in the set), along with a portion of the stage that lifted almost two stories off the ground! Top that off with pyrotechnics that went off throughout the entire show. MGK played an eclectic two hour-plus set, featuring hits from all his various albums. He brought out Avril Lavigne to her song “Bois Lie”, which he is featured on. WILLOW also joined MGK onstage to sing the song she is featured on, “emo girl”. Machine Gun Kelly has come a long way from when his career first started, yet one thing seems consistent and that is his passion and love for his craft. You can tell so much went into the show as a whole, which deserves mad respect! His connections with his band members and with his audience is what really stood out over all the fancy production; I believe that just goes to show that Machine Gun Kelly is here to stay, despite all the controversy that may surround him. Check out a show near you and see for yourself! I do not think you will be disappointed.
Photography by Katey Schoenberger