I bought ‘The Tickets to My Downfall’


Lavette Williams, Editor-in-Chief

The day I bought the ‘Tickets to My Downfall’ Believe it or not, I have never been to a concert before until recently. Of course, I’ve always wanted to go to one. I have always thought my first concert would be the Imagine Dragons, where I would have front row tickets and watch Dan Reynolds, the lead singer, beat the floor tom drum aggressively … or, a Lumineers concert, wrapped up in a blanket, waving the flash of my phone back and forth to “Cleopatra.” It just made sense. I never thought my first concert would be a Machine Gun Kelly (MGK) concert – a punk-rock concert at that. My sister, LaKeta, a die-hard MGK fan, had bought my other two sisters and I tickets on a whim after MGK tweeted about having a show in Nashville, Tennessee. This, I believe, were the tickets to our downfall. In preparation for the concert, I downloaded the “Ticket to my Downfall” album to my Apple Music and listened to his songs whilst in the shower and in the car. I had grown to love a few of songs like “Bloody Valentine,” “My Ex’s Best Friend,” and “Forget Me,” and figured if I bobbed my head to the rest no one would notice that I only knew the chorus. The night of the concert, we were not ready at all. The concert began at 7 p.m. at the Ascend Theater, which was a walking distance from the hotel we stayed the night in, and even leaving at 6:25 p.m. we were at the very end of the line – the caboose. We didn’t read the guidelines so we brought purses that were “bigger than our hands” and after being told by the security that we could either throw them in the bushes or hide them in the trash, we did the walk of shame to the hotel. We returned … purse-less. As we made it to the back end of the line, two grown men yelled that they were selling ponchos for either MGK tickets or $5. Ponchos, I snorted. It’s not going to rain that bad. I was proven wrong a few minutes later. As the two openers, carolesdaughter and Jxdn sang the sky split open and rain made everyone “fit the part,” made us look grungy by running our mascara and soaking our hair. By the time I got word that MGK was getting ready to perform, I was wet, I was cold and I wanted a deep conversation with the poncho guys. Finally, MGK was lifted in the air on a platform and with a fog of purple smoke surrounding him, he began the show with “Ticket to my Downfall.” Phones began recording, swaying ensued. “I sold some tickets to come see my downfall,” We all sang. “It sold out in minutes. I saw friends in the front row, they’ll leave when I’m finished. And the light in my name’s gone. ‘Cause the ones who gas you up only come around when the flame’s on.” MGK also performed his songs “WWIII,” “Banyan Tree,” “Lonely,” “Misery Business,” “All I know” and several others. But the most memorable time was when he sang “My Ex’s Best Friend,” where he pulled a little girl on the stage with him and addressed those who ruined her time at one of his previous concerts. In a pink headband and MGK t-shirt, she sang along to the lyrics. “I’m still young, wasting my youth,” The little screamed into the microphone. “I’ll grow up next summer.” Another great MGK moment was when he hopped off stage, climbed this huge rock in the center of the audience and said, “I didn’t wear this [sparkly pink shirt] for nothing.” Moments later, I blinked and he was back on stage, shirtless. Or, when he was singing “Papercuts,” a new single off of his sixth album, says: “Sleepin’ in, faked sick. Smoked a blunt, had a kid. Don’t belong, I’m a punk. Hello world, you f– —- suck,” and he literally pulled a blunt from his pocket and smoked it. Or, maybe it was when he took a swig from his bottle of tequila and threw it into the audience. (Hopefully, the bottle didn’t hit anyone. If it did, I’m sure they didn’t mind. They were just in the head by MGK!) There were countless times throughout the concert, MGK revealed to me that he was a savage, that he broke the rules, that feared no consequences. I had heard stories from LaKeta that he was like this, but to witness this in person felt liberating. Yes, liberating was the only way to describe it. In the midst of the heavy rain, the punk rock music and the bouncing crowd, I found myself wondering if this was real life. But also, I found myself loving every bit of it. To quote the famous Colson Baker, I wanted so desperately to “keep this moment like it’ll happen again.”