Tag Archives: Musink

9TH ANNUAL MUSINK, PRESENTED BY TRAVIS BARKER 3

The 9th annual MUSINK, presented by Travis Barker
TATTOO CONVENTION, CAR SHOW AND CONCERT
AT OC FAIR AND EVENTS CENTER, COSTA MESA, CALIFORNIA
SUNDAY, MARCH 6, 2016

This third day I needed to see Musink beyond the stage.  I spent time generally soaking up all the event had to offer. There was more phenomenal art than most people have skin. There were easily a dozen artists I would gladly get work by (if lucky enough).   Of course, I took time ogling the tasty selection of classic vintage machinery in the breezeway holding the “Low & slow Car Show”. After spending the early part of day three getting up close and person with the tattoo artists and vendors, I found my way to the music stage a bit late.

I arrived after punk veterans Face to Face had already started, but still got to hear a good portion of their set. This tremendous band  can still delivers their signature brand of pulse throbbing punk. The band’s performance and enthusiasm were on fire,   bringing the mosh pit to a full boil by the time they played their big hit “Disconnected”.

After Face to Face was departed the stage the Orange County metal-core  band Atreyu came on. After a hiatus, this hard working group is back as if they never missed a beat.  They brought their “A-game”, as usual. Alex Varkatzas [vocals], Brandon Saller [drums/vocals],“BIG” Dan Jacobs [guitar], Travis Miguel [guitar], and Porter McKnight [bass]  performed an exhausting and explosive set of their entire catalog.  Some of the highlights were “The Crimson”, “Right Side of the Bed”, “Bleeding Mascara” and “Ain’t Love Grand”. The band also  played songs from their latest recording “Long Live” including the albums title cut.

Singer Alex Varkatzas was off the stage in mixing with the audience from the middle of the opening song “Doomsday”.  Later in the set both he and bassist Porter McNight both found themselves on the opposite side of the barrier in the mosh pit with the fans. In a sadly comical moment, McNight got stage blocked by an over-zealous security guard who denied him entry. It’s unfathomable  the level of fire and intensity this band performs with. They create a moment where the band and the crowd are one living entity on a high-energy ride that doesn’t pause until they leave the stage. It was great watching Alex in the crowd interacting directly with the fans. It’s clearly important to this band to feel that connection.

Atreyu

Check out our interview with Dan Jacobs

The modern prog-rock of ethereal Circa Survive brought this epic lifestyle event to a close. Circa Survive was like a brooding volatile storm with enigmatic Anthony Green bringing down the chaos and the drama. In sonic fitful-frenzy this acclaimed band performed songs like “Semi-Constructive Criticism”, Schema”, and “Child of the Desert”.   In between songs  Green took moments to connect to the crowd, some of it humorous, others more reflective. To quickly paraphrase, his words were meant to remind everyone to live life to its fullest. It was certainly clear this band embraces those sentiments, as they put on quite the show. Circa Survive was a fitting close to a  more  diverse musical selections.

Another year at Musink came to an end, and we can’t wait to see what 2017 will bring. In the meantime, check out shows and music from the bands that participated this year.

 

Circa Survive

Check out parts one and two of Musink

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9th annual MUSINK, presented by Travis Barker 2

The 9th annual MUSINK, presented by Travis Barker
TATTOO CONVENTION, CAR SHOW AND CONCERT
AT OC FAIR AND EVENTS CENTER, COSTA MESA, CALIFORNIA
SATURDAY, MARCH  5, 2016

The second day of tattooed splendor with a side of good music gets off to a good start with Plague Vendor. Whom I was excited to see for the first time. Singer Brandon Blaine  took the stage, mic in hand and proclaimed “We’re Plague Vendor, and we’re good!”.  Okay, my first thought after hearing this is “if you have to announce it you’re probably not”.  After this announcment they let the music speak for them. The band of four  Brandon Blaine  (vocals), Luke Perine (drums), Michael Perez (bass), and Jay Rogers (guitar) offer a bitter-sweet take on California Garage-Punk with a dark inner core reminiscent of something slightly gothic in feel.  Blain was correct they’re indeed a good band.  This band has forceful and palpable electricity in their music and performance that take notice.  The songs in their set had qualities that were both visceral and tender and were performed well. For sure a band worth checking out.

Plague Vendor

Next up was Taking Back Sunday, this band has been at it for a while. Singer Adam Lazzara has a nice laid back quality and filled  the moments with a little more banter than the first band. They took time during their set to recognize the fans and also to thank Travis Barker and Musink for having them on the bill.  The band did a nice set that was a mixture of songs throughout their career like “Cute Without the E”, “What’s It Feel Like to Be a Ghost?” and “You’re So Last Summer”. They are a band who is clearly still in love with what they do, and the crowd responded in kind.

Taking Back Sunday

The audience got the honor of having the Deftones close night two of Musink. They are one of those bands that have an almost religious following among their fan base. This was fully evident by the tightly packed house during their set. Deftones are also a bands band which proved itself by the famous on-lookers throughout the audience.  Starting off with “Swerve City”, frontman Chino Moreno  remarkable vocals drawing in the crowd. But he took it even a little further going over the barrier and into the audience a couple of times during the set.  They played a soul wrenchingly exquisite set with songs like “Change (In The House Of Flies)”, “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)”,  and “Rosemary. They also played “Doomed User” and “Prayers/Triangles” live for the first time. It defies understanding that a band could create crushingly heavy songs that are  grand, epic but also intimate. They take you to a place where you feel as if  they are playing just for you.

Deftones

Check out parts one and three of Musink

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9th annual MUSINK, presented by Travis Barker 1

The 9th annual MUSINK, presented by Travis Barker
TATTOO CONVENTION, CAR SHOW AND CONCERT
AT OC FAIR AND EVENTS CENTER, COSTA MESA, CALIFORNIA
FRIDAY MARCH  4, 2016

Musink is one of our favorite Southern California shows.  It’s an  event that is also a lifestyle -music and ink  are famous bed-fellows, throw in some car culture and you got yourself on hell if a weekend. The first of the three-day events took off this year with  Yelawolf (his second year). The band come on with Travis barker drum kit placed up front/off center. Always great when a band decides to do that since most of the time your lucky to catch a gimps of the drummer at all.  Yelawolf, who introduced himself as Catfish Billy, played a few songs before technical issued took out the band’s DJ. They unfortunately, cut their set short. But while they were on the audience and myself were reminded why this act got to where they are.  The man is damn good at what he does.

Yelawolf

The second band of the night was the Transplants. They owned the room with their brand of rough and rowdy  rap-fueled punk. Tim “Timebomb” Armstrong leading with a demeanor of a street hooligan spitting words in your face along-side  Skinhead Rob who is the ultimate verbal instigator delivering words in a knotted snarl. They  put on a good set with fans getting everything they could expect out of this out of control band. Some highlights of their set were  “Gangsters and Thugs”, “Tall Cans in the Air” and, of course, “Diamonds and Guns”.

Transplants

In a twist in genre (for the punk-heavy show),  superstar rap artist, Snoop Dogg claimed the stage and put on a hell of a show. Some rap acts lose something in a live show. For the most part, this is not the case with Snoop Dogg. He is 100% of what you’d expect him to be and delivers all the smooth, slick, ultimate pimp cool any audience could handle doing hits like “Nuttin’ but a G Thang”,  “P.I.M.P”, “Gin and Juice” and “Who am I (What’s My Name?)”. The set was near perfect, except for a couple of moments where there was some unnecessary “filler”. Snoop playing some tunes from other artists as a tribute, where he mostly spoke over the DJ’s tracks, but the set of his work alone was enough. This was a small complaint because the rest of the set more than makes up for it. And there is just  something to be said for the man’s swagger and charisma. Near the close of his set came off part Snoop D-O-double-G, part Snoop Lion, bringing day one of the 9th annual Musink  to an end in style.

Snoop Dogg

Check out parts  two and three of Musink

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Interview with Atreyu’s “BIG” Dan Jacobs, pre- Musink

“Big” Dan Jacobs
Guitar Player – Atreyu

After a three-year hiatus, the Southern California metal trailblazers AtreyuAlex Varkatzas [vocals], Brandon Saller [drums/vocals], “BIG” Dan Jacobs [guitar], Travis Miguel [guitar], and Porter McKnight [bass] are back where the fans need them.  The band played some shows prior to the release of their current album. Then in September of 2015 laid the hammer down with the monolithic  recording that is “Long Live”.  The album is Atreyu at their best, expensive, wicked, scorching, and visceral. This band has always been a group of dedicated road-dogs, which in part lead to the need for some downtime. But some things don’t change, the band has been out on the road in support of the new record, with eager fans ready to welcome them aback all along the way.  Sothern Californa is happy to have their post-metal native sons back in concert this week at the music festival, tattoo convention and car show Musink. We got to talk to  Dan about the record and playing Musink.

What, if any, are the differences between Atreyu pre-hiatus vs. post-hiatus?

I think pre-hiatus we were kind of at the point where we had tried everything. If you look at our back catalog every album was slightly different. We also kept trying to reinvent the wheel that is Atreyu. After the hiatus and taking time off we were able to figure out exactly who we are as a band, and also who we are outside of the band as well. I think collectively as a whole we have a more complete understanding of what kind of band we are and what we’re best at, which makes going into it a lot easier. We are a lot more confident knowing that we know exactly the direction we want, without constantly guessing whether the grass might be greener on the other side.

What was the process of making “Long Live” like?

We kind of took an older approach to the new record, the way we used to do things. On our first three albums, instead of writing 30 songs and picking the best ones, then putting those 12 on an album, we’d only write songs for the album. Say we wanted 10 songs – we’d write 10 songs. We took that approach, and then rather than going in and recording everything all at the same time, this time we broke everything up into three recording portions. The first session we recorded three songs, then wrote six more songs and recorded them, before going and writing five more songs and coming back and recording them. That way, all the songs received a little more attention, and we got to put a little more focus on each song instead of trying to pay attention to 15 or 20 songs at the same time. This process made it a lot more comfortable for us, and we could really get inspired.

Once you all decided it was time to end the hiatus, how long did it take from then until Long Live came out?

From the time we got back together, the whole process took about a year. We needed to get management and all that stuff, to get a few shows going and find out if there was really interest out there. Once we did that we tried to get the album out as quickly as we could. It took about six months for the writing process, just the way we broke it apart. It was a lot more laid-back, a lot more chill. This was instead of having 20 days in the studio where you have to pound out all these songs or it’s gonna cost you more money, as we thought that was too much pressure.

You’ve been touring pretty heavily for Long live. What are the crowds like? Are a lot of young kids coming out to see you?

Yeah, the crowds have been awesome. They’ve been really mixed; we get a lot of our old fans coming out, some who thought that maybe they’d never get to see us play again. We also get a lot of people who are new Atreyu fans. You see some really young kids that showed up here and there with their older brothers that got them into our music, and now that they are old enough they come out to our shows. It’s cool, and we’ve always had a strangely eclectic crowd.

You took on some other projects during your hiatus like your clothing line. What’s going on with the side projects now?

I have a few things going on. My clothing line in particular I haven’t really been pushing too much since about 2009, but I have a merchandising line called Rock World Merchandise. We make a lot of different merch like caps, t-shirts, glassware, bags, marketing any items for brands. We do everything from Monster Energy Drink to Rockstar Energy Drink, to Electric Juice Bar around here, and Coldcock Whisky. It’s just all different stuff that’s related to music in one way or another. We’ve also got another thing you might have seen around the internet called the “Jack Rack” in the works, which is a wall-mountable keychain holder that looks like a guitar amp. You use it by plugging in the quarter-inch jack that would go into a regular amp, then you have a quarter-inch plug that goes onto your keys. It’s essentially a little amp hanging on your wall that looks like a little Marshall amplifier. We are trying to deal with Marshall in particular, so hopefully you’ll start to see the Marshall amp all over the world pretty soon.

Did Marshall have them at NAMM this year?

No, we’re still developing it with them, but it will be coming out sometime this year.

Did you have to take a back seat from that during the tour for Long Live?

It’s really not too bad. Luckily, I have a team that works with me, and my brother works with me as well. And our other partner Mike is involved with the “Plug-In” part of it. Modern technology now makes  everything pretty easy. If you have the internet, a phone, and a computer you can work from anywhere. So, it’s not too bad trying to juggle everything.

Are you going to be at Musink on any of the other days, or only on Sunday when you play?

Just Sunday when we’re playing. We’re actually starting a tour, just a little one across the southern part of the United States. It starts the same Friday as Musink and we go to Bakersfield, and then down to San Diego, then come back up to play Musink before heading back out to Arizona from there.

You have some pretty nice tattoo work, are you thinking of adding to it at the show?

I personally won’t, but I know our other guitar player Travis will probably be getting a tattoo while he’s there, by a a friend and tattoo artist who works up in Salt Lake City. I think Brandon might get some work done as well.

Who is the majority of your work by?

Jim Minor, who also used to be in the band Death by Stereo back in the day. He was one of the original guitar players. He used to tattoo around here a lot, I think he may be up near San Clemente now. And actually, our singer Alex is a tattoo artist now too.

Have you let Alex do any of your tattoos?

(Laughs) No, not yet. I actually haven’t been tattooed in about ten years. I’m a little bit behind on the game as everyone is passing me up on their coverage. But yeah, nobody in the band has been tattooed by Alex yet. I think we’re all waiting for him to have a few more just to be safe. That way, if anything goes wrong it will be on someone else (laughing again).

What can fans expect in the set list – is it mostly the new songs?

We only play a song or two off the new album. In a lot of situations with most bands you want to hear the classics. If you load up a set with too many new songs there’s going to be people out there that are thinking “Oh man, they only played new stuff.” We don’t want to be that band. We’re proud of the new album and we will play a couple of songs from it, and then we’ll try to play at least one song from every album.

If your fans can’t make it out to Musink, when will you be playing in the LA area again?

I think as of right now it’s the Vans Warped Tour, where we might be at Pomona or Ventura, one of the local shows. But we may. Then perhaps in May we’ll be adding some days, so we’ll see.

 

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Website: www.musink.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/musink
Instagram: http://instagram.com/musink_tatfest
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Musink_TatFest

Check out some of our coverage from Musink 2015

 

Interview with Tattoo Artist COREY MILLER

Pre MUSINK Interview
COREY MILLER
Tattoo Artist

Six Feet Under Tattoo Parlor
116 N. 2nd Avenue, Upland, CA 91786
sixfeetunder.com
909-949-0157

tHeARTofla is getting ready for the ninth annual Musink Festival at the OC Fair and Event Center. We got to have a conversation with entrepreneur/television personality/tattoo artist/musician Corey Miller, to talk about his tattoo work and the festival. Corey Miller has been practicing his art for over 30 years now and is among the best-known tattoo artists in the world. His love for his craft has taken him to many interesting places over the years, including collaborations on video games, product and graphic design, art shows, his stint on the tattoo reality show LA Ink, and even riding along with Metallica on their tour. When he isn’t with his family or taking appointments in his Upland, California, shop Six Feet Under, Miller is jamming in his band with childhood friend (and skateboarding star) Steve Alba. A tattoo convention featuring bands is right up his alley. We chatted with him about the upcoming show.

Do you do a lot of tattoo conventions?

I started doing tattoo conventions back in 1988. Back then there were maybe one or two a year. You knew there would be at least one every year. Then in the ‘90s was when it really started growing; all of a sudden there were two or three. Then a lot of us tattoo artists actually took over and it grew for there. Jump forward 20 years, and it’s quadrupled. You can go to a tattoo convention around the world once a week or every two weeks, and travel the world. I recently got invited to a convention in India, and right before that, one in Chile. I’m not going; sometimes I wish I was in a different phase of my life.

I’ve been tattooing for over 30 years and I’ve got teenage kids, and my heart is at home right now. I really don’t travel as much. That’s what’s great about Musink: it’s local, it’s close to home. These kinds of shows are ones I’m definitely not gonna miss. What’s neat about going to Musink as opposed to these shows all over the world that I’m passing on—perhaps if I was younger I’d be going for it, but I did a lot of travel when I was younger—is I can go to this show, and I’m gonna see guys from all over the world. I’m gonna see guys who have tattooed in Japan, Amsterdam, all over Europe. There are guys from all over and they all come down to Orange County and tattoo.

There are a lot of conventions—and I’m not trying to get down on them; I’m not against anyone trying to make money and do their thing—but they aren’t all the same. There’s In-N-Out Burger, then there is the little foil-wrapped burger inside 7-11, but everything can’t be In-N-Out. But Musink is one of the great ones.

Corey Miller
Corey Miller

Will you be taking any breaks to check out the music?

Yeah, the music is a highlight for me. In the early ‘80s, I was in the punk scene and that’s what got me into tattoos. And 30-something years later I still play in a band and I tattoo every day. I tell people I’m doing the same thing I’ve been doing since high school. Back then I was playing music and hanging out in a tattoo parlor, and it just happened to work out.

This show is a really good show. Bill Hardie is the main guy who does this show; he was the one who started this thing. He was a music promoter for years. It wasn’t some afterthought: “Hey, let’s get some bands.” He knows these bands personally. He’s in tune with all of that. Then you have Travis Barker as the main spokesman for the show. Travis is a living tattoo, and he’s a living, breathing drummer. I mean, if he’s not getting tattoos, he is playing drums. What’s nice about this show is that everybody is really involved. They’re into the music aspect of it and the tattoos, so it’s the perfect blend.

I’ve been around since the first Musink show, and it just happens that tons of artists are musicians as well. I have been around, and even though I was on LA Ink I’m not recognized just for that. In the tattoo industry, I’ve been known for years. Something like this is a great place for me to go and do my thing like everybody else. As much as this is a big show, for us it’s still a convention, so guys like me, I wanna go see what the other tattoo artists are doing. I want to see what kind of new artwork is out there to keep me inspired.

I definitely want to go see the bands. A few years back when Face to Face played, I sat in on the drums and played. Can’t get better than that; I’m here with my family and I get to get up on stage and play drums. Not everybody that’s an artist gets to do that; I have been really fortunate. It’s a music and tattoo festival, tattoo and music festival.

Musink
Corey Miller

Are you taking a lot of appointments at the show?

You know, I’m a pretty busy person and usually stay booked for tattoos a few months in advance, so a lot of times at shows I just let people walk up and kinda just make someone’s day. They’ll say, “Oh, I thought you’d be booked,” and I just say, “Hey, you wanna do this?” I can get away with doing that, so I usually only book one or two during the weekend and just do walk-ins so I can keep it spontaneous.

There are other artists who are booked and have been booked out for weeks. Most of the guys just can’t wait to show the people, “Look what I can offer.” That’s what it’s all about.

What do you think people need to consider before getting a tattoo?

For me, when people come to me they have seen my work, or maybe seen me on television or something like that, and they have an idea of what I do. The main thing is, when you find somebody, always look at their portfolio. See what kind of work they’re doing. These days there are a lot of good artists and there was a point where people used to put more research into getting a haircut than getting a tattoo. They would just point and get the thing on the wall, but now the tattoo world is amazing; you can get incredible work. You have something that looks like an authentic tattoo from the ‘40s; there’s a huge amount of skill in that. Then there is photographic realism and everything in between.  People just need to go and meet the artist, feel that vibe that they’re committed and that they do good work, and then just go for it and have fun.

Corey Miller
Corey Miller

Do you feel like your work is still evolving?

One hundred percent. I am constantly evolving. There are so many good artists out there that I can learn from. As a person, I haven’t changed that much, except for the normal things in life—I became a father. That changes a ton of things about your personal life.

When did you get your first tattoo and do you still like it?

I’ve been hanging around the tattoo shop since I was 15 years old. At 15 I did my first tattoo; it’s an old band insignia from my punk rock days. It’s truth, it’s all I am, it’s what I’ve always been.

Your band Powerflex 5 recently played a show with Supersuckers. Any more gigs coming up for you in the LA area?

You know, it’s funny, we played with the Supersuckers and the following week we played a show in Phoenix, but you’re talking to a 49-year-old dad of three. I am so proud of my kids and my boy just turned 13 today; they all get A’s in school, I am one of the most blessed guys you can imagine, and I still tattoo 4–5 days a week. That’s my lifestyle and everything revolves around that, so the band doesn’t play out too often. Steve Alba and I grew up together; we’ve been playing together for years, and usually we just jam. Eventually, we started getting these funny gigs. We’re a good band, but we don’t really try to go out and play that often. We play once in a while; hopefully, we’ll have something come up again soon. We had that gig with Supersuckers and they were great to see; they were just having fun. They know what it’s about—you gotta enjoy yourself. As a musician, and it’s the same as a tattoo artist, you’re not just sitting there finger-painting all day. You’re not dealing with a mindless canvas. I have been known for doing memorial tattoos on people, and you just hear some great stories. It’s something you’re a part of. It’s a huge life experience, just to create something, whether it’s music or a tattoo or a painting or whatever.

Musink
Corey Miller

What is your opinion on numbing products?

Personally, I don’t like it. The body is telling you it hurts for a reason, and it heals itself for that reason. And I just feel it affects the skin in a weird way that I’m just not comfortable with. Maybe that’s just because I don’t use it often, and I haven’t broken through that. Some people probably like it. You also have to remember, there are different techniques; different artists probably hurt to different levels. Some are light-handed; some are heavier-handed.

Will you have any Six Feet Under merchandise with you for the weekend?

(Sighs) Yeah, I am usually pretty dysfunctional when it comes to that kind of business stuff. I usually don’t even have cards on me. Usually, someone will take care of that.

The shop is 19 years old this year. It wasn’t called Six Feet Under to be morbid. I did it because we were underground. I didn’t have a sign in the front of my shop for ten years, and then all of a sudden, overnight I was on LA Ink. That was the complete opposite of being underground. I had no idea what my wife meant when she said we’d be in a fishbowl. It was so different. I was pretty well known in the industry, but the TV thing is all-encompassing. All of a sudden this underground shop has full exposure.

Do you feel like people assume they know you because they have seen you on TV?

Yes, but I guess they kinda do in a way. If I was an actor, I wouldn’t be saying that, but I wasn’t an actor. I was myself on TV, so they kinda do know who I am if they paid attention. On that show, I really tried to ignore the camera in a sense, so I was vulnerable to just being who I am. I am pretty much just that guy. Not that I want to come off like I didn’t care what people think; I very much do care, and that was a big part of it.

It’s all worked out pretty good, and there are things like Musink… When people like Bill Hardie invite me to be a part of this, I am all too happy to join in.

To find out more about Corey Miller and his work check out these links:
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For more on Musink Check these links:

Website: www.musink.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/musink
Instagram: http://instagram.com/musink_tatfest
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Musink_TatFest

Check out some of our coverage from Musink 2015

 

 

 

 

Prayers show flair of Cholo Goth at Musink

Prayers
8th annual Musink  Tattoo and Music Festival
at the Orange County Fair & Exposition Center
Friday, March 20, 2015

Prayers, a San Diego-based ‘Cholo Goth‘ duo (a self-coined genre), offered a unique twist on the Goth sound with their dangerous and brooding electro-synth, sort of partial dub over the more traditional sounds-capes of the genre. The duo of  Seyer—a.k.a. Rafael Reyes and Dave Parley spun a hypnotizing set of electronic cut-throat death dirges served with a healthy dose of swagger from front man Seyer. He is lean, mean and full of attitude, percing through his dark sunglasses. Parley held down a steady cool while manning the turntables.  Clad in all black with leather jacket and a massive main of hair that was indistinguishable from his beard, he served as the musical centerpiece of the duo.  Parley’s composure was a fitting juxtaposition to the vocals and performance of his partner in crime.  Prayers gave an entrancing and intriguing  performance. Keep an eye out for this band as they pave new frontiers.

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Ignite on fire with hard-core passion at Musink Fest

Ignite
8th annual Musink  Tattoo and Music Festival
at the Orange County Fair & Exposition Center
Friday, March 20, 2015

Ignite set the second day of Musink off on a fast-paced running start. Personally, I couldn’t have picked a better band to start off the music for the day. This band hits it hard and heavy with their brand of hardcore and deeply socially conscious punk rock. Singer Zoltán Téglás stopped briefly between songs to talk about some of the songs’ meanings. Not everyone is a fan of music mixed with political or social messages, but this band does it well. And if nothing else, they get you to reflect on your own stance (or lack thereof), no matter where you stand. Holding steadfast to their roots, they offered up good exercise for the mind packaged in fist-clenching melodic aggression. Wild and frenetic, Ignite pummeled the hangar and surrounding concourse with their fast and ferocious sounds, marking another great day at the tattoo and music festival.

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Rancid Incites a classic mosh-pit riot at Musink Fest

Rancid
8th annual Musink  Tattoo and Music Festival
at the Orange County Fair & Exposition Center
Friday, March 20, 2015

Rancid brought the first evening of Musink to a close in a pool of sweat-drenched and exhausted bodies. From the first chord struck on Lars Frederiksen’s guitar, the pit was in full-throttle chaos. The pit took off during the band’s opening song, “Radio,” and above the sea of motion, arms and legs appeared in the air, soon followed by bodies that emerged and flowed over the barrier as if to signal that this band and this night had no boundaries. Tim Armstrong, Lars Frederiksen, Matt Freeman, and Branden Steineckert played an overflowing and flawless set filled with various songs from their 20-plus-year career. Under the shelter of the hangar that was used for the music stage, the room was electric with activity. The fans fully participated in the music as if part of the performance. The courtyard just outside of the hangar was filled with fans who were less active but every bit as engaged by the band. Armstrong didn’t waste a lot of time in conversation, putting all his attention and energy into giving a great performance. He has a captivating stage persona, enigmatic and with a classic “punk rock” swagger and delivery. They pulled out every song you’d expect to hear in a Rancid set, including “Nihilism,” “Bloodclot,” “Salvation,” “Rejected,” and “Roots Radicals.” The band ended set with two of their biggest hits, “Time Bomb” and “Ruby Soho.” The set was long but felt like it went by in a heartbeat. After Rancid left the stage and the crowd began to dissipate, you could see the wreckage this powerful band left behind them. Moshers left half-dressed, shoes off, or one shoe missing… glistening with sweat, and some slightly injured from their exploits. Other fans just looked spent, while others still were screaming and cheering in appreciation for the night they just took part in.  On a side note, I couldn’t help but wonder with concern about those moshing bodies who had just treated themselves to fresh new ink at the festival. I noticed a few of them threw caution to the wind and mixed it up, but at what cost? No matter, they had the time of their lives it seemed. Way to close down day one Rancid!

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