Musink 2018 Recap: SoCal Culture the Highlight of Weekend Festival

By Aaron Grech  |  03/22/2018

Musink 2018 kicked off at OC Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa, California over the weekend, featuring pimped out cars, tattoos, tattoo artists, punk rock and hip-hop during the three-day event.

While headliners like Blink-182 and Lil Yachty took to the stage at the event's hanger, many Southern California clubs and businesses took the opportunity to showcase their work.

Blink-182's drummer Travis Barker worked closely with the event; curating the music bill and inviting local car clubs to show off their best rides, while hundreds of tattoo artists joined the convention, tattooing patrons in their unique styles.

The Low + Slow Car Show

Make your way through the @lowandslowcarshow. Some incredible rides on display curated by @travisbarker and @bobbytribal. Doors are open!! 📸: @gentlegiantdigital #Musink2018 #LowAndSlowCarShow #Famous #Tribal

A post shared by MUSINK (@musink_tatfest) on

In between two buildings, housing the tattoo convention and booths, lied multiple cars from different collector's clubs. Each was firmly detailed, polished, and proudly displayed for patrons going in between each building, or walking out to the grounds for the hanger's performances.

One of the first cars that caught attention was a 1969 teal-colored Cadillac Coupe Deville convertible, owned by Raul Diaz of Kronies car club. Rather than seek to restore the car completely, Diaz chose to add his own personal touches to the vehicle, exhibiting its unique art style.

Using his extensive knowledge of cars and body work, Diaz built the Cadillac from scratch, making only small changes to the original car's motor, while having the car detailed to his specifications. "I went through the whole car front to back," Diaz explained. "When you get into something custom, with a custom paint job and all these custom details it changes it, because it's a one of a kind. There's not another car like this."

For Diaz, the Kronies car club serves as a great outlet to display his affection for cars, and to connect with people with similar passions in a comfortable setting. "It's not like a hardcore crazy club where you have to pay all kinds of crazy fees," Diaz stated. "For us it's more about family. Hanging out with the family. We bring our kids and everything. It's not just for the group. It's not just for the dudes. It's for everybody.

Further down the lot stood a polished 1949 Chevy fleetline, owned by Bobby Tribal of Tribal Clique. Despite its completion over 12 years ago, the vehicle looked brand new, with slight modifications done around the car and a custom interior.

Bobby discussed how the diversity in Southern Californian car culture, helped inspire car enthusiasts to perfect their art. "I think more than anything the diversity of [car culture] is kind of the coolest thing about it. There's custom car culture. There's bombs. There's low-riders. There's Cadillacs," he explained. "We're constantly being inspired by each other... There's appreciation across the different styles of car culture and it's kinda cool when we're all able to gather  in one place and appreciate each others love for cars."

Tattoo Exhibition

Musink 2018

via Aaron Grech / BallerStatus.om

Musink also serves an important purpose as a tattoo convention, attracting many artists and tattoo aficionados to its doors. Many took the moment to show off their ink, or to have a design done at the convention center.

Beyond Kreations tattoo artist and owner Marc Douglas expressed the importance of building and maintaining a relationship with his clients. For Douglas, the importance of a tattoo relies on this relationship; the more the client knows about the work they want to get done, the more he is able to help them.

Musink 2018

via Aaron Grech / BallerStatus.om

"Every tattoo in my eyes is not just a tattoo, it's a piece of work. It's a piece of art. It's a feeling, a bond between you and the client," Douglas explained. "Tattoos have changed a lot of people in different ways. People open up about a lot of issues... I've seen people get through negative things through tattoos and from that negativity comes out a positive, by changing their outlook."

Douglas stresses thee importance of researching before getting inked. for the benefit of the tattoo artist and client. "Have the design pretty much either done or have all your ideas of how you want [the tattoo]. Some kind of reference to take to the tattoo artist," Douglas said regarding people getting inked for the first time....Don't go and ask a lot of dumb questions, research yourself."

The Beyond Kreation's owner also took some time to express his desires for the tattoo community at large, and his support for the studio's local community."One day I would like to see more of the community in the tattoo world help each other, push each other and to[help] keep raising the bar as an artist," Douglas stated. "The Fullerton community is great, they've been good to me. Local businesses have been good to me and I try to do the same to them. Just take care of each other."

Musink 2018

via Aaron Grech / BallerStatus.om

For Alberto Medina, tattoos provide an outlet for him to practice his unique style and love for surrealist art. Inspired by the works of Salvador Dali, Medina taps into the otherworldly, creating a unique style. The Mandalla geometric leg piece above is one of Medina's designs and was entered in one of the convention's tattoo contests.

"Surrealism was the first category of art I connected to. I was drawing in high school and before that, I didn't know surrealism was a thing. Then, when I learned about Dali's work, I was like wow, that's what I like. That's what I like doing," Medina stated.

Musink 2018

via Aaron Grech / BallerStatus.om

Medina's surrealist artwork also holds a personal connection. "The Salvador Dali [tattoo piece] has a pill bottle because I'm an army veteran, and I was put in Iraq, so I have PTSD. I deal with it a lot, and that[piece] is a reflection of the medication I would take."

The artist also had a few closing words for those seeking their first tattoo. "Wait for that needle to drop," says Medina. "Everybody's the same. They're nervous, because you overthink it in your head. Once you feel the needle, they always relax."

Music Performances

THANK YOU for an amazing @Musink_tatfest weekend @descendents @fearleevingofficial @strungout @theadolescentsusa @blink182 @goodcharlotteband @interrupstagram @lilaaron911 @lilyachty @machinegunkelly @wifisfuneral @thefever333‼️Love to all of our friends, family ,tattoo artists, musicians, @lowandslowcarshow @bobbytribal @jaymefoxx and of course THE FANS! Until next year #MUSINK🤘🏻🏁❤️

A post shared by travisbarker (@travisbarker) on

This year's Musink line-up hosted a diverse line-up including pop-punk acts such as Good Charlotte and Blink-182, Ska punk band The Interrupters and rappers Machine Gun Kelly(MGK) and Lil Yachty. While Saturday attracted a much larger crowd due to the popularity of  the aforementioned pop-punk groups, Sunday attracted many loyal MGK and Yachty fans to their ranks.

The Interrupters opened Saturday to decent crowd, performing ska that had people grooving as their lead singer maintained a good energy throughout the set. While the crowd was modest compared to the rest of the lineup, the crowd stayed entertained through the bands performances of "This is the New Sound," and "Take Back the Power."

By the time Good Charlotte were set to perform, the hanger was almost completely packed with people trying to get a view of the pop-punk veterans. The band brought a great amount of energy, and began  their hits such as "Girls and Boys," and "The Anthem," to please the crowd.

Day 1 @musink_tatfest was FIRE!! Today is going to be next level. Doors are open!!! We’ll see you out there🤘🏻 🎥: @stratihov @wombatfire #Musink2018 #Musink #Day1

A post shared by travisbarker (@travisbarker) on

Lead singer Joel Madden took the time during the breaks to give out some love for Orange County, where the Maryland based band have been performing in since the early 2000s. At the end of their performance, the band played their most famous hit "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous," pumping up the crowd for Blink-182.

While Blink-182's performance was slightly delayed, their entrance was impressive, starting off the set with the fan-favorite "Anthem Part.II." What followed was an impressive mix of hits, fan-favorites and songs from their 2016 album California juggling fun, energetic tracks such as "First Date," and "What's My Age Again," with ballads such as "I Miss You."

Mosh pits developed throughout the entirety of the performance, with many in the crowd getting thrown around the pits, or into the air as they crowd surfed. Barker's drumming was another highlight of the performance, as he was granted the opportunity to do a few short solos at the close of a few tracks. Blink-182 capped off the night with their two biggest hits, "All The Small Things," and "Dammit," as the hanger closed out to the roars of applause and confetti.

On Sunday, punk-rock band The 333, who are produced by Barker took to the stage, delivering heavy instrumentals and vocals for the modest crowd. Barker rejoined the stage at the close of their performance, drumming with the band during their final song, ending with a final drum solo.

Rapper Wifisfuneral appeared next, cutting his performance short before exiting the stage after approximately half-an-hour of material.

Machine Gun Kelly took to the stage after a small hiatus, performing with a live rock band with a bassist, keyboard player, guitarist and drummer. Kelly performed his tracks "Golden God," and "Trap Paris," alongside covers such as Linkin Park's "Numb."

‘XX we the hardEST.’ ⚡️⚡️🤘🏽📷: @caseymcperry

A post shared by colson. (@machinegunkelly) on

While Kelly is known as a rapper, the artist took to the stage to show off his skills at playing the guitar during the closing performance. Overall, Kelly's set was a good middle ground for the festival as it blended both rock and rap into his set, easing in the audience for Yachty's performance.

Despite the modest crowd compared to the night before, Yachty's fans were energetic even before he began. While his DJ warmed up the crowd, a mosh pit developed, with many eager Yachty fans awaiting the Soundcloud rapper's arrival.

Once Yachty took to the stage, the crowd turned up immediately. People began jumping through his set, as the parents attending the fest with their children slowly filtered out of the crowd. The Lil Boat rapper performed tracks such as "Broccoli," and "X-Men," before capping off the night with his hits "Minnesota," and "One Night."

Diversity played the most important role at Musink 2018, as a variety of  tattoo-artists, patrons, vehicles and musical genres took part in the convention. While each art form is unique to its artist, Musink brought people together, in one place, to share their artistic passions.