MusInk Day 1 – OC Fairgrounds – March 8, 2013

MusInk Day 1
OC Fairgrounds
March 8, 2013

Those who've been to MusInk before probably understand that when it comes to punk rock and tattoos, chaos is just part of the culture. Well, in the case of this year's festival, it was a little too much anarchy for our liking.

Let's start off with the tattoo/clothing part of the Costa Mesa festival. It was decided it was a good idea to stuff all the artist and the clothing booths together in one hanger on the OC Fairgrounds. There was one aisle I chose not to walk down because it was so crammed with people. This was something that discouraged me from even wanting to look at the self-made items and looking at the artist portfolios. Could I have actually met the right artist who would've inspired me to get a spur of moment tattoo? I guess I'll never know.

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The only reason that some of the people seemed unfazed by the crowds was because they had been drinking $13 beers all day. Most people were bumping into one another, and there wasn't even a need to apologize for doing it because there wasn't another choice. Aside from the close quarters inside the festival, it was also raining that day, and they did not have any mats set up anywhere to catch the water or spilled beer. So instead, it was just left alone in the hopes it would dry. There wasn't even a sign, and it seemed as though the event staff couldn't be bothered to fix the problem.

I was hopeful the music would save this event, but was severely let down. Perhaps the biggest fail of the evening was the fact that OC punk legends the Vandals only played for a paltry 30 minutes. How can a band even try to get their energy in the right place in that short amount of time? They had played “Oi to the World,” “My Dead Girlfriend” and some of their other new songs. The sound was so bad that you couldn't hear one lyric Dave Quackenbush belted out. Even though the Vandals themselves were amazing and put their best effort into that situation, but it felt as if the sound in the room never really caught up to the energy onstage.

Even so, there was still a tiny bit of hope for headliners Bad Religion. I have seen the sound people mess up really bad for opening acts, and then have it all pulled together for the headliner. This was not the case. In fact, the sound was worse.

Once again, the house sound on the main stage was a muddy mess. The room was so packed with people that I had nowhere to go but the back, where I experienced little except muffled sound and a sea of heads. I would like to say they were as good onstage as the Vandals as their redeeming quality, but I have no way of knowing. Still, it was good to partially hear a few staples such as “Los Angeles Is Burning” and “My Computer” in the set. I had walked outside to talk to some of the crowd, to see if I was just in a pissy mood, and they had all said the same thing–the sound was bad. One person had said that it was the worst 40 bucks he'd spent in a long time. Bottom line: This year's MusInk didn't get off to a great start.

The Crowd: People of all ages and scene types–punk's metal heads, slutty-looking women, children and women unprepared for the weather.

Overheard: “The Vandals sounded like a death-metal band. They aren't death metal.”

Personal Bias: Leggings are not pants! Tim Gun rule of thumb: If it doesn't cover your butt, wear a longer shirt, dress or skirt. I got really tired of seeing thousands of camel toes in such a small area.

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