MUSINK – A Decade of Music, Tattoos & Camaraderie

MUSINK, America’s largest tattoo and music festival, celebrated its 10th year this past weekend at the OC Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa, California.  The event kicked off at 3 p.m. on Friday, March 17, 2017 and concluded on Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 9 p.m.  This year’s headlining acts included: NOFX, The Used, Bad Religion and Pennywise.  MUSINK also featured the Low and Slow Car Show presented by Famous Stars and Straps, daily tattoo contests, and the crowning of Miss MUSINK presented by Sullen Art Collective.

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The musical performances took place in The Hangar, and the first band to take the stage was A Wilhelm Scream.  If you, like me, weren’t able to catch A Wilhelm Scream at MUSINK, make sure you check them out at the recently announced It’s Not Dead Festival, taking place this August in San Bernardino.  Next up was Lagwagon, who, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, were joined on stage by a bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey.  The band took a moment to thank everyone in attendance for coming out early and also wished everyone a happy Cinco de Mayo.  Lagwagon’s set included “Violins” and “Weak” from their album Hoss.

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Following Lagwagon, was The Vandals, who had their fair share of antics as well.  The Vandals’ set included fan favorites “Anarchy Burger (Hold the Government)”, “Ladykiller” and “Oi! To the World”.  The Vandals but on a great show, and one of my favorite parts was when vocalist Dave Quackenbush briefly sang Sir Mix A Lot’s “Baby Got Back”.

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Friday night concluded with a performance by NOFX, featuring Roger Lima from Less Than Jake on guitar.  Lima filled in for Eric Melvin, because Melvin’s girlfriend was giving birth.  There were quite a few NOFX fans in attendance, so it should have come as no surprise when vocalist “Fat” Mike Burkett mentioned President Donald Trump in a less than flattering way.  NOFX’s set included “Seeing Double at the Triple Rock”, and “Idiots Are Taking Over”, which received quite a bit of cheering from the crowd.

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The first band to perform on Saturday was Hell or Highwater, which features Atreyu drummer Brandon Saller on vocals.  Hell or Highwater’s new album Vista is due out on May 19, 2017.  Next up was Story of the Year, who arrived on stage after playing the theme to the Netflix hit series Stranger Things.  One of the craziest things I saw at MUSINK was during Story of the Year’s performance.  During their final song, guitarist Ryan Phillips and bassist Philip Sneed climbed up onto the double stacked vertical speakers located in the corners of the stage, continued to play for about 30 seconds, and then jumped off in sync.  Fortunately, both Phillips and Sneed landed without any signs of injury, but it was shocking nonetheless to see them jump from so high up.  Story of the Year’s set included “And the Hero Will Drown” and “Anthem of Our Dying Day” from their album Page Avenue.

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Travis Barker’s only performance during this year’s MUSINK was with Goldfinger.  Lead singer John Feldmann was also joined by Mike Herrera of MXPX on bass, and Philip Sneed of Story of the Year/Greek Fire on guitar.  Goldfinger’s set included “Spokesman”, “Counting the Days” and “Superman”.  Keep an eye out for Goldfinger’s new album, which will feature Barker on some, if not all, of the new tracks.

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Unfortunately for glassjaw, there were some technical problems which delayed the start of their performance.  Despite this setback, glassjaw put on a great show and the fans screamed along to their favorite songs.

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The Used closed out the second night of MUSINK, and the band was joined on stage by nearly a dozen mannequins which were adorned with painted on lyrics, tape and wigs.  The Used’s set included “The Taste of Ink”, “A Box Full of Sharp Objects” and “All That I’ve Got”.  Vocalist Bert McCracken mentioned that the band are currently working on a new album, and are eager to share it with fans.

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Sunday, the third and final, day of MUSINK featured performances by Unwritten Law, Swingin’ Utters, Pennywise and Bad Religion.  If you weren’t able to catch Unwritten Law at MUSINK, they will also be playing at Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco and Music festival on April 8, 2017 in Dana Point with The Offspring and Sum 41.

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Pennywise and Bad Religion co-headlined the final night of MUSINK.  Pennywise performed first, and their set included covers of Bad Religion’s “Do What You Want” and “Stand By Me”, which they dedicated to the late Chuck Berry.  Pennywise concluded their set with “Bro Hymn”, and they were joined center stage by their friends and family who had been watching from the sides of the stage.

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Bad Religion hadn’t even started playing their first song when a water bottle flew out of the crowd, and crashed onto the stage, narrowly missing bassist Jay Bentley.  Bad Religion has been performing for more than 35 years, including numerous Warped Tour appearances, so having water bottles thrown at them is nothing new.  Bad Religion’s set included “Supersonic”, “Stranger Than Fiction” and “Against the Grain”.

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– Martin Shook

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All photos by: Martin Shook


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