The Costa Mesa OC Fairgrounds once again played host to Travis Barker’s music and tattoo convention, 11th annual Musink Festival, a Danny Wimmer Presents shindig.
Anyone who has been to one before can pretty much sum up the formula: loud bands, cold drinks, tasty food, buzzing tattoo machines, and nice whips. While I personally preferred last year’s musical lineup, this year’s was no particular slouch in the tunes department. This outing was coupled with chilly, overcast days and a touch of rain: a fitting setting to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day weekend.
Friday was (again, in my own opinion) the favorite of the three days with a hard-hitting line up featuring Spanish Love Songs, Adolescents, Strung Out, Fear, and Descendants. Travis himself made an appearance by way of drumming on one of Strung Out’s songs, proving to everyone how badass he is with the chopsticks. During Fear’s set, I took it upon myself to get a trim by the lads promoting Layrite hair products. It was an interesting experience to say the least, listening to a legendary punk band and getting my hair snipped in a school bus that had been converted into a mobile barbershop.
What better way to finish off the night than to watch an inebriated shirtless man jump the photo pit barricade and make his way on stage, only to be caught and arm-barred by security, all while Drew Carey sung his heart out. Just kidding, Milo: We love what you do.
Day two began with yours truly getting inked by a cat from Colorado by the name of Zane Jolley. Besides the new art, Saturday’s highlights for me were The Interrupters and Blink-182. Aimee Allen represented the elite female lead community with gusto and pumped the cold crowd up. Blink fired salvo after salvo of air cannon fodder, jets of vapor a beacon for those roaming about outside the hangar-turned-stage to come in and warm up.
Sunday was, unfortunately, a big let down with phoned-in performances by Wifisfuneral and Lil Boaty, the former seemingly running out of material and leaving the stage early, the latter barely staying afloat. We don’t think Jack made it. Oh, and there was a random-ass dude on stage behind Lil Rafty’s DJ eating a Granny Smith apple during the entire set. So there’s that, I guess. Lil Dinghy didn’t seem to care though as he trudged on. Regardless, Sunday’s attendance was pretty dismal overall.
Despite Sunday’s shortcomings, there were a few breaks in the bad weather. Machine Gun Kelly harnessed his inner Rob Van Winkle and had great energy during his set, and his drummer had some sweet skills. MGK even did a respectful tribute to the late Chester Bennington.
However, only one band made Sunday worth it for me: opening act The Fever 333. Lead Jason Aalon Butler (you may know him from Letlive) brought intense energy and a political passion to the stage that Rage Against the Machine would be proud of. Climbing speakers, crowd surfing, rolling around the stage, and even participating in his own mosh were just a few of the antics in which Butler partook.
Overall I would say this year—though not as spectacular as last year—was a decent success. The tattoo booths and cars were setup well. Food and drink vendors were easy to find. The staff, while helpful and friendly, seemed be a bit disorganized as to whether or not press were allowed in the VIP section as well as misinformation to the photo pit entrance location, which had been changed from last year.
We will definitely be in attendance next year. Will you?
WORDS JUSTIN RHOADS
PHOTOS MEG LOYAL PHOTOGRAPHY