|Photo by: Julia Leiby|
Halloween and Athens, Ohio, have become synonymous with one another over the years due to the thousands of costume-clad partiers that flood Court Street in search of a good time and a strong drink.
Before the infamous block party can begin, a different type of crowd swarmed Ohio University's Templeton Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium chanting three letters in drunken, un-synchronized glory. "M-G-K."
The former 8fest performer returned to OU’s campus after recently releasing his debut album, Lace Up, on October 9. Propelling from the success of his singles, “Wild Boy” and “Invincible,” Machine Gun Kelly has grown to be a respected artist in the music industry. Despite his newfound fame MGK wasn’t above vulgarly reminiscing back to his last visit to Athens.
“Fuck yeah, muddy vagina,” Kelly screamed into the mic, in reference to 8fest. One then couldn’t help but conjure up images from two years ago when he was a relatively unknown rapper rocking out to a mob of college festers covered in layers of mud and beer.
The lights began to change and the drummer began to play preparing to open the show with the song that made him famous, "Cleveland." Despite MGK’s eclectic moving history, which includes everywhere from Egypt to Denver, his final home in Cleveland as a teenager obviously inspired this anthem.
Immediately, the crowd went wild singing along to every word. The real Clevelanders were most noticeable. They were the loudest of all as they showed love for their city. Pretty soon the whole audience had adopted the Ohio city. “I rep my state, my hood, my side of town in Cleveland,” lyrically echoed the audience.
After running/twirling/jumping around the stage, MGK finally stopped before preparing to perform and made it clear to fans that this wasn’t a one-hit wonder special, but a real concert.
“Put your fist up. If you don’t have it up, that means you’re a silver-spooned baby. If you came here for wild boy, then get the f**k out.”
He then demanded the lighting directors to do some cool stuff with the lights and refused to perform until his request was made. Calling him demanding and stubborn would be good descriptors but calling him a great performer is a fact.
As MGK rapped and sang along to his tracks, you could see that he put his heart into every word of the song. Sometimes, when artists tour from venue after venue and state after state, their performance can lack originality or even effort, but not with MGK. He utilized the entire stage with enough energy to put the Energizer bunny to shame. As far as crowd interaction goes, that’s a whole other story. As a prelude to “Stereo” he called for some female audience member participation.
“Somebody rub my penis. I gotta check that it’s still there,” requested MGK.
Seconds later female hands shot up and proceeded to rub over and over again. From then on the show was on the verge of turning into an X-rated one. Venders should have had a parental advisory at the ticket booths, because this is not a show you’d want to take your kids to.
He chose four females out of the crowd (picking the girls who rubbed him earlier first), and pulled them on stage for some one on one time. MGK lied on the ground and let the girls simultaneously lick up and down his body before all resting at his mouth for a 5-way kiss.
At this point I was blushing. He then jumped up, picked up one of the girls showing him the most "love," and flipped her upside miming licking her vagina.
Needless to say the audience was shocked.
After an escape into the crowd and crowd surf fail, MGK had a deep moment on stage. With a straight face he got serious and professed that this album wasn’t just for him. “All I want to do was speak for some kids who didn’t have a voice. That’s not my album that’s our album,” he said. Then the moment the whole crowd had been waiting for finally came.
“Yeah bitch, yeah bitch, call me Steve-O / I'm a wild boy, f**k an eighth I need O's”.
“Wild boy” brought a whole other level of hype to the show, but sadly marked its end. Before finishing, MGK stopped the music, shushed the crowd and proclaimed that he was being ordered to end the show.
His response: “When they say shut it down, that means to me let’s f**k shit up shut it down.”
Just moments later, to a “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Nirvana tribute, about a hundred amped fans rushed the stage, climbing over chairs, speakers, and other people so they could stand inches from MGK.
Police later stated the concert was riot. Riot, no. Good ass time, yes.
MGK responded to the police intervention via Twitter shortly after the performance, “I can’t believe these f*****g OU police tried to take me to jail for putting on a GREAT show. They’re all scared of change man. #Laceup”.
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