After well received performances at Leeds and Reading festival this summer, US rapper Machine Gun Kelly sold out the Ritz in Manchester on Tuesday night. The Hotel Diablo Tour’s extravagant set up has the crowd brimming with excitement as MGK’s band takes their positions on the layered, flashing stage and, as two automatic doors open at the rear and allow the rapper to stroll through and straight into Habit, there’s no doubting the clout of the artist on stage tonight.

MGK’s unique ability to skip between genres is on full show here, and it’s rare to see an artist flying through relentless, aggressive rap tunes like Breaking News 2 & El Diablo before flipping onto slower guitar-based anthems like Let You Go. ‘Kells’ is obviously multi-talented, and it’s a joy to see him take off his guitar, throw it to the side of the stage and then pick up a mic and effortlessly launch into the next record.

MGK debuts several new songs from latest album Hotel Diablo throughout his 90+ minute set which are well received by the young crowd who bounce throughout and scream every lyric back at him. Highlights, however, are last year’s infamous Eminem diss, Rap Devil, a cover of Wonderwall (“Thanks Manchester for one of the best bands of all time” Kelly jokes) and Til I Die, his ode to his hometown Cleveland before which MGK demands everyone crouch to the floor before the beat drops. He walks out one more time for finisher 27, the poignant ballad performed in true Machine Gun Kelly style – with the rapper now topless and backed by powerful images of late artists including Amy Winehouse and Kurt Cobain.

Written by: Greg Weir