SNL returned last week with S46:E10 hosted by John Krasinski and Machine Gun Kelly as the musical guest. Let me say, I loved MGK as Tommy Lee in The Dirt (if you haven’t seen it…you’re missing out) and even his brief cameo in The King of Staten Island (a surprisingly good movie). MGK’s musical career is a little more shocking. Starting out with mix tapes to get a record deal and then releasing rap centric albums before his most recent album being more pop-punk. He brought out his later stuff for his SNL premiere.
My Ex’s Best Friend
MGK led off with a song about break-ups and rebounds. First, and strikingly apparent, is how he decided to match his overall shorts with his guitar. Second, this is a huge departure from MGK’s previous work. He brings a heavy guitar presence to this song, but unlike SNL’s previous rockers (The Boss, Foo Fighters, The Strokes, H.E.R. & Jack White), MGK is lacking serious chops when it comes to guitar riffs. Despite that, it’s still a fun song.
My initial thoughts (see the title of this blog) on hearing MGK’s second performance, and thinking about what I was going to write, I was going to lay the smack down on the kid because he was clearly off-key, and it ruined the rest of the song. It wasn’t just me thinking that, a quick search of social media would say the same, or at least mine did. Here’s the thing, I can’t do it. I can’t rip the guy. The song that MGK wrote and played on SNL was in honor of his father that he lost last July and to be playing the song, live, on National TV, has to be pretty emotional. So, I’ll cut him some slack. In fact, I normally give a link to the live SNL performance. I’m not going to do it. Here’s the official (albeit produced) version of the song. This is a great song. Listen to the lyrics and think of your parents and how heartbroken you were or could be (if you’re lucky enough to still have both of your parents) when your parents left this world and then tell me you could pull this song off without losing it. I know I couldn’t.
Respectability for MGK
Overall, I think that SNL did a good job in choosing MGK for their first show of 2021. I heard earlier this year that SNL was having a problem attracting a younger audience with all of these older acts. As I said then, it’s all about what has to be prompted. Those older acts were promoting new products and so is MGK. He released his latest album, Tickets to My Downfall, was released in November. So what if he missed his key in a super emotional song. So be it. I can’t blame the kid. In fact, good on him for taking the chance and laying his heart on the line for everyone in the National TV audience to see. I’d tell MGK to keep it up, despite any haters. Clearly it’s working for him…and Megan Fox!