A Day of Ink and Punk Rock

wpid-20150808_180647.jpgThe social acceptance of tattoos is increasing. I’m looking forward to the day where a person with ink isn’t forced to where a tube sock over their arm while working – I’m looking at you, Costco.

In the meantime, there’s an annual event where ink is celebrated. The Pacific Ink and Art Expo (PIAE) isn’t a name that rolls off the tongue but it does give an opportunity for artists to showcase their talents and for enthusiasts to grab deals on tattoo gear.

My band PIMPBOT was invited to play at the punk rock stage, situated adjacent to the skateboard ramp. It was fun to supply the soundtrack of some great runs performed by some of the island’s top skaters. There wasn’t much from stopping a rogue skateboard from flying into my trombone but hey, if the skaters can take a risk, so can I.

wpid-20150808_181104.jpgAfter our set, my ten-dollar-beer and I went for a stroll to check out some of the vendors. The place wasn’t short on sugar skulls, I’ll tell you that much. There were a lot of tattoos being done onsite, which is pretty trippy because it’s essentially a bunch of humans bleeding on tables. As I walked through the aisles, I tried not to think about the millions of skin cells in the air, gently falling into my draft beer. Hypochondria aside, it was cool to see some friends in the tattoo scene. Shoutout to Priestess Ink in Waipahu. I don’t have any ink from them yet but I look forward to resume some work on my arm once I get a handle on this whole mortgage thing.

After finishing my overpriced beer, I said my goodbyes and headed off to The Republik for the Pennywise concert. What was funny was that I saw some of the guys I just spoke to at the PIAE punk rock stage. How the hell did they beat me there? They must’ve had a better parking spot.

A big mahalo to my friend Carla for the concert tickets. Apparently it costs $40 to see Pennywise these days. That’s not very punk rock but maybe they needed the extra cash to fly over their 25-person entourage that stood stage-side.

The concert kicked off with Old Habits Die Hard from the Big Island (Hawaii island). I’ve partied with these guys in their hometown of Puna on a previous PIMPBOT tour. With Pantera in their hearts, they banged out some tight tunes – including a few fun Johnny Cash covers.

The Knumbskulls were the next local supporters to take the stage. Fresh out of the recording the studio, the band was eager to get the crowd to start flipping them off as they blasted through some tracks off their upcoming album. They finished off their set with a guest harmonica player. I didn’t catch his name but from what I was able to make out, he was to be respected because he guest played with [insert cool rock bands here]. It’s no secret that I don’t really have a taste for harmonica players. But this was the first time I really enjoyed a harmonica performance. It was tasteful and landed nicely in the song’s arrangement.

wpid-2015-08-09-12.35.34.jpg.jpegAfter a few hours of sipping on 6 dollar beers (not as overpriced as PIAE but still an ungodly price) Pennywise took the stage. It was great to see Jim Lindberg back with the band, with his bobble head delivery of classic punk rock lyrics. Fletcher was in fine drinking form, accepting half-full cocktails (he’s an optimist) from the crowd. His guitar tone was razor sharp, cutting through the hearts of loyal fans – mostly in their 30s and 40s.

Between songs, the band talked about their recent tour with Danzig, old skool skaters we should be respecting, a plug for the Surfrider foundation and shoutouts to fellow punk rock acts from their era.

wpid-20150808_220205-1.jpgThe night ended with what looked like half the crowd onstage singing along to Bro Hymn – no hana hou (encore) needed. I saw a lot great friends at the show but of course the ones you treasure are the ones who bought you a beer. Speaking of which, thank you to Randy from Tsunami’s for the drink. Classy move, bro.

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