Annual tattoo convention leaves permanent impression

Blaine Schuerings getting tattooed by Costa Mesa's Mike Spazbo. Hundreds of individuals were tattooed at Musink throughout the weekend. (Austin Weatherman/ Lariat)

Blaine Schuerings getting tattooed by Costa Mesa’s Mike Spazbo. Hundreds of individuals were tattooed at Musink throughout the weekend. (Austin Weatherman/ Lariat)

Tattoo festival Musink was hosted at the Orange County Fair Grounds March 6 to March 11, drawing quite the crowd to the Costa Mesa venue. Travis Barker, drummer for the band Blink-182, put on the convention hosting some of the world’s best tattoo artists, inviting shops from around the world and bringing in a concert series like no other.

“This event is sick,” said Austrian tattoo artist Acy Jones. “I came to see some really great artists, hear some great music, and give some people some tattoos.”

Jones belongs to the Mighty Stork Tattoo Club located in Frauenkirchen, Austria. Having traveled over 6,000 miles, Jones was able to see artists Nikko Hurtado, Oliver Peck, Freddie Negrete and so many more tattoo icons.

“I was stoked on seeing Yelawolf last night and super pumped to see Deftones tonight,” Jones said.

Jones was not the only one enjoying the event—OC local Blaine Schuerings was excited to be at Musink too. Schuerings spent most of his Saturday lying on a table, acting as a human coloring book.

“What brought me here was this dude, Mike Spazbo,” Schuerings said. “He’s a great artist from Costa Mesa and to be getting tattooed by him here is fucking sick.”

“I know Snoop played last night, but I’m a Taking Back Sunday fan so I’m hyped to finally see them live,” Schuerings said.

Schuerings was one of hundreds getting tattooed at the event. Featured artists set up booths to promote their shop and tattoo individuals walking by. About 200 individuals were “getting ink” at any given time during the festival.

Each day, artists competed in different events with varying styles, sizes and script, outlining the basics of tattooing.

The skate clothing brand Famous held the second annual “Low ‘N Slow” car show, hosting 30 low rider style cars for attendees to vote on. Travis Barker would choose the best of the three cars with the most votes, earning “props” in the tattoo community.

Musink not only brought in amazing tattoo artists, the best of low rider cars and beer, but also put together a weekend of concerts from some great bands that drew crowds young and old.

Friday’s line up consisted of Yelawolf, Transplants Snoop Dogg. Plague Vendo, Taking Back Sunday and Deftones played Saturday, followed by Face to Face, Atreyu and Circa Survive on Sunday.

Brandon Blaine, lead singer for Plague Vendor, took the stage Saturday afternoon.

“Being up there, it’s like electricity going through my veins,” Blaine said. “Like literally, as if I put my fingers in electrical socket.”

The bands next six shows will be played with the band Prayers. After Saturday’s show, Plague Vendor is traveling to South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. The band is then flying to United Kingdom in early April.

“Travis hit me up on Twitter to see if we wanted to play,” Blaine said. “Looking back, I can’t see us not playing here. It was a great show!”

During the show Blaine reached out into the crowd giving a young child a drumstick before dedicating the next song to the kid.

“That’s how raise a kid with great music taste! Start ‘em young and bring ‘em to shows!” said Blaine as prepared for the next song.

Taking Back Sunday opened up with their hit “What’s it feel like to be a ghost?” from the album Louder Now, sending the crowd into cheers along with singing word-for-word every song played. Lead singer of the band Adam Lazzara told the crowd his dialogue with the promoter Travis Barker.

“Barker called me up, and asked us to play here tonight,” Lazarra said on stage. “Once Barker said there was going to be beer, tattoos and Deftones, I was like ‘Fuck yeah!’”

Deftones iced the cake Saturday performing their hit “Change”.

With the success Musink has brought to Orange County’s tattoo scene, be on the lookout for next year’s dates.