MusInk 2019 Leaves a Permanent Mark on OC Fair and Events Center

Suicidal Tendencies crowd (Credit: John Gilhooley)

MusInk (By The Minute Review)

March 8-10

OC Fairgrounds Events Center

By: Josh Chesler, Alex Distefano, Scott Feinblatt

Friday, March 8

5:58 p.m. OC’s metalcore heroes Bleeding Through took the stage in the hangar while it was slightly cold but still daylight and the crowd was only beginning to warm up for Sick of it All, Hatebreed and Suicidal Tendencies, but that didn’t mean things were calm. Massive circle pits were forming for the band’s  passionate, aggressive set, as in the background long lines began to form for food and concessions like beer, pizza, BBQ Ribs, fried chicken, burgers and more. (Alex Distefano)

6:21 Remember kids, Friday is always the best day to go to a tattoo convention because it gets too crowded on Saturday and a lot of the artists just want to go home by the time Sunday rolls around. (Josh Chelser)

6:37 I’ve only been here for a few minutes, and I’ve already seen a handful of people who are way too drunk for this early in the weekend. (JC)

Sick of it All (Credit: John Gilhooley)

7:11 NYC hardcore legends Sick of It All took the stage as fans began to fill the area around the stage. “This is Southern California, the birthplace of the circle pit, let’s see what you got!” yelled singer Lou Koller. As expected, the mosh pit went nuts. But, in the back, a  couple with two small toddlers formed a baby mosh pit as their little ones were running around crazy to one of the festival’s fiercest bands. (AD)

7:13 With Sick of It All, Hatebreed, and Suicidal Tendencies tonight, this is a spectacular lineup for middle-age hardcore fans, which means there’s no shortage of hardcore-raised children here. I didn’t even know they made Gorilla Biscuits shirts for toddlers. (JC)

7:44 All of the memorials to tattooers who’ve passed away over the last handful of months make for a very strange juxtaposition with the buzz of excitement and intoxication floating through the air. (JC)

Hatebreed (Credit: John Gilhooley)

8:18 Giving one of the most energetic performances of the night, Hatebreed tore things up, as frontman Jamey Jasta led the crowd through an epic, and aggressive set, full of solid hardcore metal that got many millennials and older fans in the crowd to come out of mosh pit retirement to keep that raging circle put going the entire set. (AD)

8:19 The real unsung hero of Musink (and every other event at the fairgrounds) every year is the Hawaiian/teriyaki bowl place. If you’re eating anywhere else here, you’re doing it wrong. (JC)

8:33 Inside, everywhere you looked in the tattoo convention, artists displayed show specials, many of which consisted of  Suicidal Tendencies skulls, as well as punk logos of such classic punk bands playing the fest–Dead Kennedys, Fear, TSOL and more.  A man in a bright green mohawk was getting the classic Bad Religion cross logo tattooed on his bicep. Apparently his faith in the band is strong. (AD)

9:10 Maybe it’s because of the sun protection from all those years wearing a flipped-up hat, but Mike Muir looks pretty good for someone who’s put that many hard miles on his body. (JC)

Suicidal Tendencies (Credit: John Gilhooley)

9:14 Suicidal Tendencies Mike Muir led the band with the classic fusion of skate punk, and thrash metal, as the Venice punks delivered an uncompromising set that saw both old and young fans in the crowd getting into the music, and raging in the mosh pit.. Many young children were seen, in the crowd and onstage. “I love it when I see parents bringing their kids here,” Muir said in between songs. “Back in the day a lot of parents wouldn’t let their kids see Suicidal.” (AD)

9:44 A middle aged drunk shirtless guy, holding a half empty beer was singing Dio’s Rainbow in the Dark in the urinal, as annoyed dudes waited in line in the restroom as Suicidal Tendencies was just about to finish for the night. All signs point to this guy getting a beat down by the time he leaves this restroom. Looks like he actually does have some suicidal tendencies after all. (AD)

9:46 MusInk might not be the best tattoo convention in the world or the best music festival in the world, but it’s probably the best combination of both of them. If nothing else, the people-watching is entertaining as hell. (JC)

Limp Bizkit (Credit: John Gilhooley)

Saturday, March 9

4:12 If anyone expects me to do anything other than make Limp Bizkit jokes today, they’re going to be extremely disappointed. (JC)

4:21 Tattoos weren’t the only art, as booths and merch tables of artists selling paintings, drawings and other forms of art set up, forming a swapmeet for artists to sell their masterpieces. A Man laughed out loud as he bought a drawing from local artist Noah Sturm, which featured a colorful King of the Hill’s Bobby Hill, in a parody of rapper 6969. (AD)

5:03 Even though I just got tattooed less than a week ago, I still haven’t ruled out getting another one this weekend. It’s a problem when half of your friends are tattooers. (JC)

MUSINK 2019 (Credit: John Gilhooley)

6:31 It’s cool how Fred Durst doesn’t really even have to wear a disguise to walk around anywhere because no one believes that the gray-bearded guy in a bucket hat is headlining the show tonight. (JC)

6:38 A makeshift memorial for late, local tattoo icon Rick Walters was seen at a tattoo booth, as many artists and fans paid tribute to the Southern California tattoo legend, at the Sullen Art Collective booth. Walters passed at age 73, on March 4. (AD)

7:19 MusInk is effectively just Travis Barker’s giant house party that happens to be held at the fairgrounds, and I have to wonder if we see him move into the production side of things more often as he gets older. He’s already doing Back to the Beach with John Feldmann next month, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him branch out even further in the future. (JC)

Ho99o9 (Credit: John Gilhooley)

7:48 Fans didn’t know whether to slam dance, bang their head, bob around  with the music, during the performance of hip hop experimentalists H09909. Combining speed rap, death metal, punk and aggressive live drumming, they definitely left plenty of  stoned and drunk fans staring in awe. (AD)

7:52 I don’t know what to expect from Limp Bizkit later (other than that they’re only doing it all for the nookie), but having powerful young acts Ho99o9 and City Morgue is a bold move. Musically, I understand the connection, but any of them could be Wes Borland’s illegitimate kids. (JC)

8:23 We’re about to see Limp Bizkit headline a festival in 2019. That’s a sentence I never thought I’d write. (JC)

8:40 When Limp Bizkit inevitably plays “Break Stuff,” they’re now referring to hips, knee joints, spinal discs, and other age-related injuries, right? (JC)

MUSINK 2019 (Credit: John Gilhooley)

9:21 Limp Bizkit is better than I expected, but the whole thing still feels a little bit on the ridiculous side. I’m glad to see that the ‘90s are still alive and well in Fred Durst’s closet, although the Suicidal Tendencies hat would’ve been much more appropriate yesterday. (JC)

9:38 Headliners Limp Bizkit turned their set into a nostalgic nu metal party, revisiting the band’s heyday in the late 90s/early 2000s. Led by Fred Durst, the band had former frat boy millennials, housewives, and even younger punks grooving and slam dancing to a cover of George Michael’s song “Faith”. (AD)

10:11 It’s always the sign of a good concert when you see the amount of work left for clean up crews picking up all that alcohol bottles and beer cans for recycling. People were definitely pregaming for this show and you could definitely tell. (AD)

Vandals (Credit: John Gilhooley)

Sunday, March 10

2:00 p.m. Upon checking in for my press credential, I learned that there were free cocktails until 6:30 for press. Then I made the very strategic decision that the most responsible manner to cover this particular festival would be facilitated by drinking Sprite mixed with vodka. (Scott Feinblatt)

3:19 I forgot that today was the day I have to listen to everyone complain about losing an hour to daylight savings time. That’s the only thing I actually dislike about daylight savings time. (JC)

3:37 Soon after Voodoo Glow Skulls promptly began performing at their posted set time of 3:30, I noticed that there was a distinct lack of movement in the audience, despite the poppy music. With the exception of a mosh pit in the middle, basically not too many people were moving beyond some head nodding. I decided that deeper consideration of this phenomenon was required, so I returned to the VIP area for another free Sprite and vodka. (SF)

3:50 As punk band Anti-Flag was performing in the hangar, a young metalhead was getting an intricate, colorful portrait of Slipknot’s drummer on his right calf. (AD)

Credit: John Gilhooley

4:00 I spoke with two representatives from the Orange County health services department, who informed me that they had observed and cited a few of the festival’s tattoo artists for health code violations. Fortunately, the violations were nothing serious, like re-using inking needles. Most included not having a proper disposal bin for their used needles and not having their paperwork in order. Evidently, if you’re going to stick needles into people at a public event, you have to have a piece of paper that says it’s okay to do so. The reps told me that the fines / fees had been paid, and the artists, who had been in violation, were free to continue inking guests. (SF)

4:16 Coming off of last night’s performance by Grandpa Durst, it’s wild how stacked today’s lineup is. Anti-Flag is coming on in the middle of the afternoon, and it only gets better from there. (JC)

4:30 About ten minutes into their set, Anti-Flag announced that they were from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and lots of people cheered them on. They then said something about fighting racism, and the audience joined the performers in a salute consisting of holding up their middle fingers. The band then tore into another song and the crowd resumed thrashing. (SF)

4:44 Taking home the 3rd Place contest for the best Music Related tattoo, from Las Vegas, Ashley Fayerverger showed off here tribute to Prince, which was done by artist Robert Pho, from Skin Design in Las Vegas. (AD)

MUSINK 2019 (Credit: John Gilhooley)

5:00 After wandering back to the bar to find out if they also had free pretzels to go with the free booze (they did not, but I did manage to track down some chips in the press area), I wandered back into one of the exposition halls. At the booth of artist, Sean Hall, there were two girls whose behinds were completely exposed, while they were being inked, strategically. One mohawk-sporting child noticed the girls, and his eyeballs fell out of his head. (SF)

5:01 I’ve seen a surprising amount of people crying this weekend, and I’m not sure why. Tattoo conventions and punk rock festivals usually aren’t the places to shed tears, but here we are. (JC)

TSOL (Credit: John Gilhooley)

5:15 When TSOL’s set began, the volume of the music was significantly louder than it had been for the first two acts. Thankfully, most of the punk rock parents were mindful of their children’s well-beings, as many toddlers and small children were wearing hearing protection. One 5-ish-year-old, perched on his dad’s shoulders, was being paraded around through a field of raised fists; the child was throwing up some devil horns. (SF)

5:24 I will always watch T.S.O.L. do their thing for as long as Jack continues to perform. He’s a truly unique individual. (JC)

5:28 A grey haired man was rocking out to OG OC punks TSOL, as he praised the band for still going after all these years. “I saw these guys decades ago, punk rock makes you never get old!” he yelled to his younger companions who were drinking beers and smoking joints. As a live act,  TSOL was on fire and performed a raging set, with lead singer Jack Grisham bringing his signature humor to the band’s insanely energetic set. (AD)

5:45 Learned that someone on festival producer Travis Barker’s team had not spoken a word in many years due to a vow of silence. Spoke with a member of the March of Silence organization, who explained that most members of the movement only observe their vows during demonstrations and that the idea their organization is based around is that animals, who have feelings, have no voice to challenge the humans who mistreat and slaughter them. It then occurred to me that the predominance of vegetarian food vendors was as deliberate as the festival carshow’s selection of cars, which all belong to Barker. (SF)

Dead Kennedys (Credit: John Gilhooley)

6:10 Even without Jello Biafra, it’s pretty cool that we all get to see Dead Kennedys in 2019. I didn’t realize how excited I was for this until they actually hit the stage. (JC)

6:20 As the Dead Kennedys were playing the classic song, ‘Too Drunk to Fuck”  inside one of the tattoo halls, a man and a woman were both getting their backsides entirely tattooed from top to bottom–now that’s badass! (AD)

6:47 Hearing DH Peligro from DK trashing the Newport Beach swastika kids as an intro to “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” and then “California Über Alles” is fantastic, topical, and well-deserved. (JC)

Credit: John Gilhooley

7:04 In my opinion, MusInk is at its best when it’s full of punk rockers, which is exactly who today’s lineup brought out. The vibe is just a lot more fun and careless than the last couple of days. (JC)

7:15 During FEAR’s set, lead singer Lee Ving took a moment to provide relationship advice to the audience. While he was speaking, a child at the outer edges of the sprawling crowd lost control of his toy car. His punk rock father nudged him and urged him to go retrieve it before it got stepped on by someone. (SF)

7:45 The Tattoo of the Day winner was Alex Smith from Oregon. Congrats man! # REALMVP. (AD)

Vandals (Credit: John Gilhooley)

8:12 I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: The Vandals might be the most underrated OC band in history. They’re like NOFX for slightly less drunk people, yet they’re rarely mentioned when discussing OC’s best acts. (JC)

9:15  After a satisfying set by The Vandals, I learned that this festival had bridged a gap between a man and his teenage son. Evidently, the man — who had been a metal fan growing up — never knew his son liked hard music because the boy had always listened to his music through earbuds [he didn’t want his dad to know he was listening to music with swear words]. The music turned out to be Limp Bizkit — Saturday night’s headliner. Once his son’s favorite band was outed, the two bonded on a whole new level, and this festival had turned out to be a foundational experience in their relationship. MusInk: Bringing families together through loud music since 2008. (SF)

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