Machine Gun Kelly delivers riotous renditions of My Ex's Best Friend and Lonely on Saturday Night Live

Machine Gun Kelly
(Image credit: Saturday Night Live / YouTube)

Machine Gun Kelly appeared in the first episode of Saturday Night Live 2021 over the weekend, delivering stellar performances of two tracks from his raucous 2020 album, Tickets To My Downfall.

Introduced by comedian and host John Krasinski, the Cleveland rapper-turned-guitar-toting-rockstar launched into a highly energetic version of My Ex's Best Friend, before later serving up an emotionally charged rendition of Lonely.

Supported by a killer backing band, MGK – while sporting suitably matched punk-style attire – wielded a bright pink, single-pickup Schecter PT electric and a decal-covered acoustic guitar for his performances.

Last year's Tickets To My Downfall saw Machine Gun Kelly's creative path veer in a fresh pop-punk direction, with its sound heavily rooted in the electric guitar.

Along with a selection of names traditionally associated with hip-hop and pop – including blackbear, iann dior, Halsey and Trippie Redd – the album also features the likes of YUNGBLUD, The Used's Bert McCracken and Blink-182's Travis Barker.

Back in October, MGK outlined his high hopes for the impact Tickets To My Downfall would have on the world of guitar

Speaking to NME, he said: “This album might be the reason why bands of our generation, instead of the Foo Fighters, Green Day or one of those established artists, get to headline Coachella and shit like that – because this album is gonna make the demand for guitar music go up! 

He went on, ”It’s tapped into the new generation of kids, the 13-to-18-year-olds, that those bands I just named can’t reach at this point.”

Machine Gun Kelly's performance follows a string of recent six-string-centric appearances on Saturday Night Live, including Foo Fighters' debut of Shame Shame, Jack White's tap-laden tribute to Eddie Van Halen, and H.E.R.'s performance of Hold On, in which she debuted her new signature Fender Stratocaster.

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.