MUSINK Tattoo Convention & Music Festival – Day 3 – at The Orange County Fairgrounds – Costa Mesa, CA
February 21, 2010
The final day of the music and tattoo convention undoubtedly had the best weather and best crowd of the three day run. For many, the last day of Musink came as a relief, not for the end of it, but for the final round of bands who were set to perform. The day began early and promptly began its course with musical entertainment provided as early as 12:30pm. Bands performing on Sunday consisted of The Sparring, Takse Driver, Lowbrow, The 3rd Degree, Riot Brides, Stolen Radio, Longway, Faraway Boys, The Black Tibetans, Face to Face, and NOFX. Sunday yielded the greatest variety and amount of people, all who were eager to indulge in the final day of the ever artistic Musink convention.
Due to a last minute change, The Sparring opened up Sunday morning, though originally, Takse Driver was set to commence the show at 1pm. Takse Driver arrived on stage shortly after 1pm and performed for a small crowd.
The band performed songs consisting of many influences, including Ska and Orange County inspired Punk rock. Vocalist Alex Cruz walked around the stage and made attempts to reach out to the audience and capture their attention by personalizing the performance and speaking to them between songs. Audience members applauded the effort and cheered as Takse Driver played song after song. At one point during the set, Alex Cruz mentioned to the crowd that guitarist Flo Alvarez was getting married, and in the midst of his hectic marriage plans, made the effort to join along Takse Driver and play Sunday’s show. The band’s 20 minute set soon came to an end, and Alex Cruz informed the audience that the last song had to be nothing else but an Orange County song, and the band then followed with TSOL’s "Code Blue". The crowd head banged along, and those who knew the lyrics sang along as Takse Driver performed.The band dismissed themselves right after and cleared the stage for the next band.
Lowbrow approached the Jagermeister stage at 2pm and with a mellow vibe, began to play Punk rock that was anything but mellow. The band produced a sound that was fast, energetic, and skillfully played through the duration of the thirty minute set. Lowbrow’s music sounded like a mix between Pennywise and Bad Religion, which garnered the band a fair amount of audience members. The band diligently played their set with enthusiasm and with smiles that demonstrated to the audience that the entire performance was strictly for the purpose of fun and enjoyment. Lowbrow’s time on stage ran out, and the audience ran towards the barricade screaming and requesting to hear more from the band.
Walking into the "Ink" room for the final time was a bittersweet feeling, but most farewells can be said to be bittersweet. The "ink" room was unbelievably packed with people Sunday afternoon, and many individuals could be seen rushing to tattoo booths and attempting to get last minute work done on their bodies. Many of the booths were overflowing with people seeking out tattoo artists with the open availability to handle the workload of new tattoos. All throughout the "Ink" room, people who were visibly eager to get work done on their bodies stood calmly as tattoo artists drew and marked stencils on their bodies, prepping for the permanent ink. Piercing stands also saw a great surge of people asking for pricing on piercings and negotiating arrangements.
At 4:30pm, Musink’s final tattoo contest began inside the "Music" room, and the area witnessed a surge in contestants which made the contest as colorful as the first day’s contest. People of all ages and scenes entered the contest in hopes of having their body work given the title of "Best Tattoo". The Boo Bear Babes, who are classy tattooed pin-up models, made their appearance during the contest to add flavor and sex appeal to the already sexy tattoo contest. The Boo Bear pin-ups escorted each contestant onto the floor to display to the crowd each tattoo running in the contest. After an hour, the contest announced its winners, the winners were given plaques among other prizes, and everyone clapped and cheered for the success of the winners.
Meanwhile, back inside the "Ink" Room, the crowd appeared to have augmented in size, which made the migration around the room difficult at times. While observing the booths inside, a particular stand stood out above the other piercing stands, primarily because of the type of jewelry being displayed. The stand was the Body Vision LA booth, a booth managed by Adam Block. Body Vision LA is a company that adds class and credibility back into body jewelry, and creates hand made body jewelry made out of gold, platinum, and gems. Adam Block shared with us that the purpose of Body Vision LA was to provide piercing aficionados with the best quality of jewelry available for their body piercings. Body piercings in present time have attained an immature representation that entirely misrepresents a large population that is into body modification. Adam Block’s vision began over 10 years ago, and since then, he has provided his precious metal jewelry to consumers ranging from the general public, to renowned mainstream celebrities.
At 5:30pm, Longway hit the stage inside the "Music" room and began to play for a large sized crowd. Longway performed a series of fast paced and rowdy Punk Rock which set the mood for the rest of their set. The band’s energy was immense and overwhelmed the atmosphere of the room, which was felt by all the audience members. The stage presence of each individual band member captured the attention of the crowd as each band member manifested their passion into their action.
Guitarist Trevor Jackson climbed the colossal speakers to the left side of the stage, and played his guitar high above the rest of the band and the crowd. Trevor Jackson was so high up on the speakers that his head nearly touched the ceiling of the large venue. Close to the end of the band’s set, Longway covered Billy Idol’s "Rebel Yell", which attained the crowd’s attention and participation. As the band announced their quickly approaching departure, vocalist Brian Longway began to tell the audience, "Alright, LISTEN UP! This is fucking ORANGE COUNTY and we’re not gonna have this standing around bullshit here. I want you all to follow the movement of my finger, and walk around in a circle, SLOWLY… THAT’S RIGHT, VERY SLOWLY!" Brian Longway began to move his index finger in a circular motion and proceeded to tell the audience that it was time to go crazy and start a circle pit! The audience created a huge circle in which drunk and aggressive men rushed into as Longway finished up with their fast paced sound. Once Longway finished, the circle pit stopped and everyone began to applaud vigorously for the display Longway had just put on.
The Faraway Boys played at 6pm outside on the Jagermeister stage, and generated a greaser/rockabilly following. The band played Psychobilly music which caused the audience to dance and hop around the floor. The Faraway Boys were quirky and fun, and proved to satisfy the majority of the people present during their set.
The Black Tibetans took the stage inside the "Music" room at 6:30pm and played melancholic and fast alternative rock. A couple of the band’s songs resembled the sound of Smashing Pumpkins, and the grunge influence in the band’s music was strongly evident. The music maintained a Punk Rock attitude that forcefully got your attention during the set. The Black Tibetans were the most odd band of the Sunday line up, but possessed the most determination to win the crowd over, which they successfully managed to do.
The anticipation for Face to Face’s arrival was intense as people rushed into the floor in preparation for the chaos about to break out on the floor. Face to Face quickly took over the stage and was met with loud cheers and noise. The band opened up with "A-OK" and a circle pit was instantaneous. Throughout the entire night, the circle pit was moving and going, and never once saw a dead calm. The band went on to play "Disconnected", "Pastel", and even invited tattoo artist Corey Miller of TLC’s "La Ink" to play drums during their set. During "Pastel", Face to Face took the time to tell the audience they were finally working on new material, to which the audience responded with wild cheers and high fives. The band then took the time to say that they had plenty of new material under their belt, but were strictly "sticking to the old shit tonight!"
The audience let out a fierce roar, and Face to Face went straight back into their song, which prompted an even faster circle pit. The band ended their set with "You’ve Done Nothing" which caused an agonizingly vicious mosh pit. The band finally departed from the stage after an hour, and informed the audience that NOFX was finally next.
Jim Rose of the Jim Rose Circus took the stage prior to NOFX’s set, and began to perform his astonishing acts that bewildered the crowd. Jim Rose brought out a male willing to have a dart board attached to his back, and willing to have people attempt to throw darts onto the dartboard which hung on his bare back. As attempt after attempt was made on the dartboard, the audience cringed at the possibility of a dart striking the man’s back, which inevitably, it happened. As each occasional dart struck the man’s back, trails of blood flowed in a downward stream, and members of the audience looked as though their eye balls were going to bulge out of their skulls. At 9pm, Jim Rose left the stage and allowed NOFX to take over.
NOFX arrived on stage and the audience exploded with excitement and nervous anticipation. The room was undeniably full of people, and undeniably hosted the largest crowd of the three day event. Guitarist El Hefe was the first to speak into the microphone and introduce the band, and crack a few jokes about playing in Costa Mesa. NOFX began their set by playing Intro/Linoleum, which automatically caused a rambunctious circle pit. NOFX went on to play "Dinosaurs Will Die", "Mattersville", "Leave It Alone", "Eat The Meek", "We Called It America", "The Quitter", "Reeko", and many more songs. As NOFX paused between songs, they constantly made jokes aimed at the Orange County lifestyle, and at one point, vocalist Fat Mike stated, "Man, there’s a lot of weird Christians in Orange County, this next song’s for you." NOFX then dedicated "Leaving Jesusland" to Orange County’s weird Christians. Fat Mike cracked another joke towards the OC and pointed over to the rainbow flag draped on the stage, and notified the audience that the rainbow flag was Orange County’s home flag.
Audience members laughed and applauded NOFX’s satire and tongue-in-cheek humor, and they genuinely appreciated the band’s ability to do so. NOFX was witty from start to finish, and as they finished up their set, NOFX announced to the crowd that they would be playing "Lori Meyers". The audience went insane as NOFX performed the song, and when it was over, NOFX had finished their hour long set. NOFX offered a treat for their fans and performed "Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist", which is a song from Broadway’s Avenue Q musical. When the performance was over, fans hoped for an encore, but no encore was ultimately delivered. NOFX had blown the audience away, and had them eager to catch NOFX again and soon.
The last day of Musink had finally arrived and finally delivered the last experience of the tattoo convention. Being one of the most conservative counties, Orange County was privileged to have been able to host Musink, and tattoo aficionados were grateful for having the experience right in their backyard. Musink offered the best available in both the world of tattoos, and the world of music, fusing both arts to provide a convention like no other. Musink was an artistic experience that cannot be mimicked or reproduced in any other way. The convention is gone, but many people have taken with them new art, new body work, new piercings, new musical encounters, and perspectives drastically changed by the experience and inspiration that Musink was able to unveil to conservative Orange County.
Big Wheel Senior Staff Writer
Big Wheel Photographer
More photos of day 3 can be seen HERE
Coverage of MUSINK Day 1 is HERE
Coverage of MUSINK Day 2 is HERE
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