In sharp contrast to Day One’s lineup, Day Two of the SoCal tattoo convention and music festival saw an influx of emo fans who came in droves to see post-hardcore acts like The Used, Story of the Year, Glassjaw and Hell or Highwater. The drunk, overweight, geezer punks that had filled the fairgrounds the prior afternoon were now replaced with young, well coifed, (better smelling) punks of all sorts. Also included in the ‘Emo Day’ lineup was veteran ska punks Goldfinger who definitely helped to cut the angst a little. Check out all of this and more as Anarchopunk continues his coverage of Musink Fest 2017, below!
Due to unusually sticky Saturday traffic through the Sepulveda Pass, I didn’t make it down to OC in time to catch the opening act, Hell or Highwater featuring Brandon Saller of Atreyu fame on lead vocals but the early crowd was significantly more dense than it was on Friday, so I have to assume the turnout had something to do with their performance. I always enjoy seeing newer bands especially during a weekend long fest filled with cagey veterans. Next time, boys. Next time…
As I got to The Hanger I instantly noticed that the crowd and genre wasn’t the only difference for Day Two. The stage was adorned with ten foot high speaker stacks sitting where smaller, more meager, single case speakers were for yesterday’s skate punk acts and smoke machines now lined the apron of the stage. The production quality had been stepped up five fold.
Before Story of the Year even took the stage, the crowd was starting to get antsy and as the quartet heads popped out from behind the lumbering sound system, the pent up energy of the crowd was released in an eruption of noise. Not long into the set, I could see why everyone was eager for the Missouri boys to play. I’ve never been big into the emo genre but guitarist Ryan Phillips had me hypnotized with his flair and precision and I joined in the raucous crowd chanting back the few lyrics I knew. The performance included most of the hits with “Until The Day I Die” getting the biggest rise out of the already swollen crowd and ended with the three mobile members (sorry drummer!) scaling the sky high stacks of speakers and leaping off with a level of coordination typically reserved for The Blue Angels.
Next up was veteran ska act, Goldfinger whose main players for the night consisted of founder and pop punk icon John Feldman along with a hodge podge of punk all stars. Among them were Mike Herrera from MxPx on Bass, the festival’s curator himself, Travis Barker on drums and Story of the Year’s Phillip Snead (who just took a quick breather, before ditching his bass and returning to the stage with a guitar). With that caliber of talent all on one stage, it’s no surprise that this performance stood out from the dozen or so others that took place over the weekend. Everyone in the complex showed up for the set which included “I’m Still The Same” and the always popular cover of “99 Luft Balloons” to which a stoked crowd was extremely appreciative chanting for more as the set concluded.
I wasn’t too familiar with NYC’s Glassjaw but was impressed with their performance. Since I didn’t really know their songs, I could really concentrate on the action on stage without taking too many notes. Side effect: This will be the shortest segment of this piece. Leadman Daryl Palumbo has an incredible stage presence, very subtle but it draws you in. The rest of the band almost creating a maelstrom around his relative calm. The audience was still pretty amped after Goldfinger so a circle pit started almost immediately and continued on through a majority of their forty minutes on stage.
By the time the final act of the evening took the stage, night had fully set in and the crowd was packed tightly into the steel boned Hanger. The stage was pre-set with spooky looking mannequins placed haphazardly around the stage before post-hardcore heavyweights, The Used jogged on stage to the roar of the audience. After thanking the crowd for their fervor, the stage went dark. As the dark red lights came up, the smoke machines began to hiss abruptly like pressure being released from a large tractor tire. Of all of the weekend’s performances, this one had the most special effects, but all of it worked, adding the ambiance. Impassioned frontman Bert McCracken took the mic and never stepped more than four feet away from the lip of the stage, getting as close as he could to his fans, at times stretching the mic stand out over the undulating mass so they could join in, which they eagerly did. The set list included a slew of songs from 2004’s critically acclaimed LP In Love and Death as well as a few deeper cuts from other albums. After the Utah boys left the stage, the crowd loitered, hoping for an encore but the night had come to it’s end.
*Check back later for coverage of Day Three featuring Unwritten Law, Swingin’ Utters, Pennywise and Bad Religion. If you missed Day One’s coverage, check it out here!