Saturday's musical lineup featured hometown heroes T.S.O.L., Santa Barbara locals Lagwagon and Hermosa Beach-based Pennywise; while Sunday's show was more oriented toward the rockabilly/country-type crowd, with the Reverend Horton Heat Lucero and Johnny Two Bags and Salvation Town.
But by the time that Pennywise was about to take the stage, many of the dudes on the floor were beginning to mosh. The energy was at an all-time high and the fans went rabid as original singer Jim Lindberg, guitarist Fletcher Dragge, drummer Bryan McMackin and bass player Randy Bradbury took the stage. Not wasting a minute, the band began thrashing into a set of sing-along, crushing choruses and never-ending slam dancing. "This next song is dedicated to the government," Dragge yelled to the crowd, just before launching into the hit "F**K Authority." "Remember one thing at the end of the day: The politicians in our government work for us. We all work hard and pay taxes for them, but still we have these illegal wars killing people, corruption, fraud, and we're here to say we don't give a fuck and are not ignorant to these motherfuckers in power," he said. The band continued on as the bald-head-dominated, frat party of a pit swirled and swirled, fists flying.
Other crowd favorites included "Living for Today," "Land of the Free" and the famous "Bro Hym." The band also performed a cover song of the Black Flag tune "Gimme Some More" and the Beastie Boys' anthem "Fight for Your Right (To Party)."
Fans in attendance found themselves in a maze full of tattoo artists, from local ink slingers to international tattooists, from color specialists to black-and-gray masters--every kind of artist and style of tattoo could be found in the massive halls of Musink.
Fans gathered in the main hall for a plethora of competitions and contests for various tattoo categories, while hundreds walked the premises, checking out the myriad booths of art vendors, clothing, handbags, books, tattoo supplies. It even spread outside--a freestyle skateboard ramp was set up for contests and sessions, where anyone was free to bust their favorite tricks to the music provided by a KROQ booth.
Punk/rockabilly guitarist Jonny "2 Bags" (guitarist for Social Distortion) and his band Salvation Town treated the crowd to some rockabilly/roots-rock/country-flavored punk, which the crowd ate up. Although many of the same people were at all three days, the crowd for Sunday's show was significantly different. Though the rockabilly/greaser/'50s style vibe was more felt throughout, all people were there to have a good time and move with the music.
Up next, Lucero, a country-based rock band from Memphis, Tennessee, with a much different style and sound than the other bands on the lineup came off as the oddball of the fest. Their sound was mellow, based on traditional country and western songs mixed with rock, blues and folk.
Last, but certainly not least to close out the festivities on Sunday evening, the Reverend Horton Heat brought his rockabilly bash of a show to Musink. Tons of Oi fans, people wearing denim vests, patches, faux 'hawks, combat boots, FEAR and the Cramps shirts, self-proclaimed rednecks (shirtless fat dudes circling the pit with a confederate flag--including one obese man with no shirt, only suspenders and shorts!).
If you can imagine, an equal ratio of beer and sweat surrounded the pit during the Reverend Horton Heat's set. The band, let by guitarist/singer Jim "the Rev" Heath, upright-bass player Jimbo Wallace and drummer Scott Churilla, the band buzzed through an hour-long set of pure rockabilly madness, leaving the crowd chanting for more at the end of the night.
Critical Bias: Disappointing to many in the crowd was Hedcat, the rockabilly band featuring Lemmy Kilmeister from Motörhead, along with drummer Slim Jim Phantom of the Stray Cats and drummer Danny B. Harvey from the Rockats. Apparently, Lemmy is ill with bronchitis. We hope him a speedy recovery; we're sure he'll be back to his normal rock-star self soon.
Saturday: An elderly gentleman in an Iron Maiden shirt was asking a tattoo artist about painkillers and possible options to lessen the sting of the needle. "I once took two vicodins years ago for a tattoo on my leg, but it didn't help the pain; it just got me fucked-up. . . . Now I just stick with this," he said, taking a puff of his G-pen Vaporizer. "Works just fine!"
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Sunday: Just before the Reverend Horton Heat, an unnamed middle-aged blond woman in a Rammones shirt, quite attractive, who was probably around 20 when Pennywise first formed in Hermosa Beach, laughed hilariously when a beer vendor asks for her ID while she was in line to buy drinks. Her male companion, a man with glasses and wavy, long, graying hair in a Bad Religion shirt, took her picture as she smiled with a thumbs-up. They then walked, arm in arm, to see the Reverend Horton Heat with large beers in each hand.
The crowd (for both days): Pretty much what you would expect for a tattoo convention/punk-rock concert in Orange County. Tons of shaved heads; wifebeaters; Mohawks; pretty ladies with Betty Paige bangs; beauties of all shapes, races and sizes; tons of skaters. Sunday seemed to be more of a family day, with many parents proudly strolling the fest with their youngsters--kids younger than 8 were free, after all. Although the OC Sheriff's Department deputies were in full effect, with good cause, there were groups of noticeable Neo Nazis, but aside from a few skirmishes in the pit that were all in good fun, no major incidents reported, thankfully. Peculiarly, the air throughout the fairgrounds permeated of cannabis (a.k.a, marijuana), and many people were seen guzzling large beers and hitting portable vaporizer pens. The G pen, a portable vaporizer, even had a booth in the tattoo-exhibit hall.