Musink 2018 By the Minute Review

(Credit: John Gilhooley)

Friday, March 16

5:00 p.m. Various freeways surrounding the Costa Mesa Fairgrounds such as the 405, 73, and 55 were jam-packed, making delays in parking and waiting in line  for the event awful. Many people traveled far distances for both the music and the tattoos, including all over Southern California, and places like Texas, Arizona, Colorado and even farther. However, it just so happens every time it rains in the LA/OC area, the regular deplorable traffic becomes unbearable. There were  hundreds of people still in line waiting to enter the venue, before old school punk band FEAR took the stage around 7:30. (Alex Distefano)

5:30 p.m. Move over, Disneyland. Vendors were selling these huge citrusy, creamy, frosty Dole Whip treats for only $6. Seriously, the one my friend and I purchased had to be about eight-inches in height. Compared to the House of Mouse, which sells smaller variations for $4.99, you easily got more bang for your buck (and an even higher potential for brain-freeze) at Musink. (Brittany Woolsey)

6:42 p.m. I had to work too late to catch the Adolescents, but got here in time for Strung Out’s set. Well I guess this is growing up… Wait, no, that’s tomorrow. (Josh Chesler)

7:08 p.m. The slightly older crowd and classic punk bands make this feel more like old school Musink, whereas tomorrow figures to be one big Blink-182 concert and who knows what Sunday holds with Lil Yachty. (JC)

7:11 p.m. Inside the tattoo convention,  Rachel Gross lies on a table getting worked on by artist Arlo Dicristina, from Elysian Tattoo Studio, in Gand Junction, Colorado. Gross is having a portrait of Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker on her leg and thigh. It takes hours, but is intricate and detailed enough to  enter into the Musink Best Music Related Tattoo Contest, held Sunday afternoon. (AD)

7:22 p.m. The car show is cool, but it always seems a little bit out of place and unnecessary. I doubt it’s changing anytime soon though. (JC)

7:31 p.m.– I’ve gone to a good amount of tattoo conventions and a lot of music festivals, but Musink always has some of the best people-watching in the country. It’s an unrivaled blend of trashy ’90s culture, tattoo aficionados, old punks, and trendy young kids who are just here for the Instagram posts. (JC)

Lee Ving of Fear (Credit: Brittany Woolsey)

7:40 p.m. LA’s old school punk veterans FEAR  played a loud fast set Lee for fans in Costa Mesa. Although the best place to see a band like FEAR is in a small, packed club, the band’s in your face vibe was still given justice, and the fast, nostalgic mentality of the past punk generation’s fury was given life. Frontman and guitarist Lee Ving is still a badass, even though he’s probably old enough to be your grandpa. We did notice more than a handful of small children sitting on top of adults shoulders in close proximity to the circle pit.  Under most circumstances, this is not a good idea, but considering it wasn’t a Pantera or Slayer circle pit, things turned out OK for the youngsters. But, in general for all you parents of small children out there into rock music, let the kid become teenager, before you let them enjoy the thrills of a mosh pit! (AD)

7:44 p.m.  Considering how influential they were in the early days, I feel like Fear’s popularity hasn’t held up over the decades. There are a lot of bored Descendents fans mulling about. (JC)

Milo! (Credit: Brittany Woolsey)

8:13 p.m. Now I’m just wondering how many Milo tattoos have been done today. Probably more than the amount of tattoos on the actual band. (JC)

8:33 p.m. Inside the Tattoo convention, people took refuge from the rain, and it was full to capacity with people watchers, bystanders, and tons of inked up, pierced bodies, tattoo artists, people getting tattooed, bystanders, and people in booths  selling everything from tattoo care products, art, beef jerky and jewelry. But mainly, there were tattoo booths, with hundreds of established and acclaimed  tattoo artists, from locals like Steve Soto, from Goodfellas Tattoo in Fullerton, Marc Douglas, from beyond Creations Tattoo Studio in Fullerton, Edie Tana from OC Tattoo in Westminster, and tons more. People were definitely flaunting their ink, and many pieces were freshly needled, and wrapped in plastic. (AD)

8:56 p.m. “Dude, those guys look just like my dad!” – Punk kid behind me realizing that the Descendents have been around for quite a while. (JC)

8:58 p.m. Headlining the show on this rainy night was pioneering pop punk band the Descendents.  From the band’s early hardcore punk sound in the ’80s, Descendents have been a huge influence on everyone from Green Day to Offspring and Blink 182. Even though it was wet and rainy, it didn’t stop circle pits from forming as thousands of fans danced and sang along to the songs like “Hope,” “Victim of Me,” “Who We Are,” “Suburban Home,”  “Bikeage” and mane more. The Descendents were the highlight of the night. (AD)

9:18 p.m. One of my favorite parts of Musink will always be watching the tattooers drunkenly check out bands they love. It makes it feel more like a giant party and less like a tattoo convention. (JC)

Descendents (Credit: Brittany Woolsey)

9:30 p.m. So, one cool thing about the Descendents is that they’ve had this artist, Chris Shary, who has designed all their merch and even the known Milo icon for years. And Chris is still a Descendents fan, goes to every show and is super friendly to fans, who know him almost as a member of the band. After Descendents ended their set, people were selling bootleg Descendents tees right outside the venue gates. Look, I get it. Vendors gotta make a buck and (usually shitty quality) knockoff shirts are bound to be sold outside big events. But if you’re going to call yourself a fan of a band, you should suck it up, wait in the merch line and pay a bit more for a quality, official tee, especially when the dude who designed the shirt is inside the freaking building. (BW)

9:45 p.m. By the time the festival ended, the fans outdoors began to flock to the parking lot and exit the venue, while many still walked through the halls of the tattoo convention. However, OC Sheriffs  were not having it and basically abruptly 86ed everyone except workers and artists as people tried to slowly leave. Shortly after the concert, no one was allowed to enter the tattoo convention indoor halls, including several angry, freshly tattooed women. (AD)

Blink 182 (Credit: Brittany Woolsey)

Saturday, March 17

3:30 p.m. There were so many adorable tots with mohawks, band shirts and fake tattoos. I have to give kudos to the parents who introduce their kids to good music early-on, especially when they take it one step further and make sure their child is sporting those big headphones to protect their hearing. And props also go to festivals like Musink and the Warped Tour, which make this even more possible by offering free admission to the tykes. (BW)

4:30 p.m. Saturday was  a sold out crowd. There were thousands of people waiting in line, and it ran the gamut from younger fans, families, millennials and older folks. The crowd was beyond diverse, as tons of tattoo-loving, concertgoers all mingled and waited to enter the venue.  Almost everywhere you looked there were Blink 182 shirts, and tons of hot tattooed women. (AD)

4:50 p.m. I’m still trying to wrap my head around how Lil Aaron booked this festival or even made it on the map as an artist in the first place. I guess it helps that he’s recorded with Travis Barker… but that makes me question why one of today’s most legendary drummers would set himself so low. Lil Aaron’s “music” — which consisted of rapping in autotune a la T-Pain over beats from Paramore and Panic! At the Disco songs — was unlistenable. I had trouble understanding most of what he said, but he did make it clear (well, as much as he could) that he has a love for Hot Topic and the Vans Warped Tour. So random, just like his placement on this lineup. (BW)

The Interrupters (Credit: Brittany Woolsey)

5:35 p.m.  Aimee Interrupter is a goddamn gift. In a music scene and festival dominated by male artists, Aimee held her own and proved that chicks can rock, too. With her raspy voice a la Brody Dalle of The Distillers, Aimee commanded the crowd early on Saturday and proved she is a force to be reckoned with. It’s safe to say that even those who had no idea who The Interrupters were prior to the show chanted along with them during “Take Back the Power.” And who wouldn’t want to sing along with the band’s always-legit cover of Operation Ivy’s “Sound System”? With a resume so far of opening for groups like Rancid, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Offspring and, now, Blink-182, it’s time to get familiar with The Interrupters and with Aimee. You’ll be seeing them around a lot, and rightfully so. (BW)

7:03 p.m. – Do I care about seeing Good Charlotte in 2018? Not really. Will I still scream the handful of lyrics I remember from “The Anthem”? Absolutely. (JC)

7:11 p.m. It was St. Patrick’s Day, so it was a given thatpeople were going to be drinking hard, and the green beer was being guzzled from the early afternoon. Many fans were visibly intoxicated, inside and  the tattoo halls, and outside for the live music. By sunset, many vendors ran out of green beer, but the alcohol still flowed. With the combination of booze, ink and the various fair foods like ribs, smoked turkey legs, and pizza, brutal hangovers were in the future for many in attendance. (AD)

7:24 p.m.  This is probably the first tattoo convention with Cameron Diaz (presumably) in attendance, right? What a time to be alive. (JC)

7:38 p.m. Who makes those little wooden barrels with the logos/names burned into them? They’re at every tattoo convention, and I always want one despite not having any use for it whatsoever. (JC)

7:51 p.m. I love the fact that most of the music being played in the tattoo areas is ’90s rap while there are a bunch of little emo/pop-punk kids running around outside. The dichotomy is real. (JC)

8:17 p.m. “This is Oregon sunshine!” – Drunk guy in front of me as it starts to drizzle on the massive crowd waiting for Blink-182. (JC)

8:42 p.m. Three years ago, I compared Blink to Nirvana after seeing the massive reception they got from kids who assumed they’d never see them live. An older friend just compared the reaction tonight to that of the Beatles, and I can’t disagree. It’s pandemonium. (JC)

Travis Barker (Credit: Brittany Woolsey)

8:50 p.m. Headliners Blink 182 were on fire onstage, and thousands of fans were enjoying the band’s energetic set in The Hangar. Seeing the band outdoors from a standing only perspective is a great way to experience Blink 182 and with a healthy mix of old school and younger fans, the circle pit was in full effect for the band’s set of high octane filed pop punk with humor and emotions all thrown in. The band ripped through songs like “Stay Together For the Kids,” “All the Small Things,” “The Rock Show,”  “What’s My Age Again?” “Josie “First Date,” and many more, which fans loved and sang along to. Don’t worry though this slam pit was not too rough. (AD)

9:17 p.m. Mark Hoppus just asked “Who’s going to be here tomorrow?!” and about seven people raised their hands. I guess there’s not much crossover between them and Lil Yachty. (JC)

9:34 p.m.  It’s still weird hearing Matt Skiba sing classic Blink songs, but I don’t hate it. I just want Alkaline Trio back at some point. (JC)

9:46 p.m. Tracks from the self-titled album like “Feeling This” and “Down” got arguably the biggest cheers tonight, and yet some of us remember when that record was looked down on for them “selling out.”  (JC)

10:30 p.m. (To the tune of Blink-182’s “First Date) “Let’s stay in park forever. Forever and ever. Let’s stay in park forever. Na na na na…” Traffic was stalled as everyone attempted to exit the fairgrounds parking lot after Blink-182 finished their set. After sitting still in my car for nearly 45 minutes, I personally was ready to accept my fate and pay the fairgrounds rent because I was about to claim it as my new home. You’d think with all the cops walking around the venue during the event and the fact that this isn’t the venue’s first high-capacity rodeo, they’d be more prepared and have more people directing traffic. Also, it might help to have more than two exits. (BW)

(Credit: Brittany Woolsey)

Sunday, March 18

3:11 p.m. The weather was much better today. The skies were partly cloudy but sunny and blue. One could tell the difference in attendance for this day’s event in Costa Mesa. There were noticeably fewer people, shorter lines for food and alcohol, and not as huge of crowds for the live music,  but there were still tons of people bustling about the tattoo convention halls and classic car show area. It was still a sizable crowd, just not sold out or packed like Saturday night. (AD)

4:20 p.m. Inside the convention, tattoo artist Carlos Macias from Cryptic Tattoo in Azusa works on a freehand skull collage, as people walk by and look at the booths and classic lowrider cars that are located within several tattoo both.  Loud rap music blared down the hallway, as the buzzing sound of needles filed with ink permeated the room. Macias said that Cryptic Tattoo specialized in facial and eyelid tattoos but does all styles. (AD)

4:48 p.m. Sunday’s Musink Tattoo contest featured a myriad of prizes for tattooed, including gift cards, swag, tattoo aftercare products and more. (AD)

Rachel Gross won the first place Musink Best Music related piece for her portrait of Travis Barker on her leg/thigh. (Credit: Alex Distefano)

5:00 p.m. The First Place  Best Music Piece for the event went to Rachel Gross, for her portrait of Travis Baker, other leg/thigh by  artist Arlo Dicristina, from

Elysian Tattoo Studio, from Gand Junction, Colorado.

The First place Best Front & Back piece went to Chris Trainer, for his front and back piece, done by artist Alex Rodriguez from Goodfellas Tattoo in Tustin. (AD)

Chris Trainer, won First place Musink Back & Front Piece. The tattoo artist is Alec Rodriguez from Goodfellas Tattoo in Tustin. (Credit: Alex Distefano)

5:39 p.m. In The Hangar, fans stood listening to hip hop acts like KRS-One, A Tribe Called Quest, and Public Enemy, waiting for  The Fever 333, the three piece, politically charged experimental rock band, who have worked with Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker. As the band came out to various anti racism sound clips, the trio erupted into a furious and urgent set of empowering music that had hints of bands like Refused, Rage Against the Machine, Bad Religion,  Anthrax and even Nine Inch Nails. Most fans were into it, dancing and gyrating along with the music, but the sound could have been more reaching, it didn’t extend much farther than the inside of The Hangar. Still fans got one hell of a performance by this LA based rock band. (AD)


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