Before he went on Saturday Night Live to be the guest musical performer, Machine Gun Kelly, real name Colson Baker, shared on Twitter how much the experience mant to him. “I remember when I was a kid watching @nbcsnl every weekend with my aunt and my dad,” he wrote on Twitter. “Since they aren’t here to see this moment, I’m going to perform the song I wrote for them on the show. Hopefully I’ll feel them there.” As he kicked the night off with the song “My Ex’s Best Friend” off last year’s Tickets To My Downfall — a track that pretty clearly isn’t about them — fans were expecting him to perform “Lonely” as his second song.
“Lonely” is also off his latest record, which marked a pivot toward a pop-punk sound and away from his previous rap-inflected sound, and addresses Kelly’s feelings about losing his father too soon. It’s a fitting song to close out his time on SNL, not just because of what he shared about watching the show being a family affair, but because these emotions of loss, grief, and loneliness are pervasive right now during the coronavirus pandemic that has been plaguing the world since last year. Watch his performance above.