June 8, 2013
Over 18,000 people attended this weekend's Ink-N-Iron festival at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, which had booze, hot rods, cigarettes, tattoos, and good ol' fashioned rock n' roll. Th festival was celebrating 10 years of tattoos, bowling shirts, and pompadour haircuts with headliners that included Sublime With Rome, The Offspring, and Iggy and the Stooges. There were also pin up girl burlesque shows, art, and a tattoo competition. Not bad!
The security was pretty relaxed with only a quick pat down; the biggest bummer was they didn't allow in's and out's unless you had the three-day wristband, which sucks if you forgot your booze or drugs in the car. The front parking are was used for two of the three stages, while other events were held inside the Queen Mary ocean liner.
The hundreds of vendor tents resembled a twisted rockabilly flea market, offering guitars, pachuco suits, bowling shirts, skateboards, custom paint jobs, make-up, tattoos, and, of course, a rockabilly-themed barbershops. Beautiful women covered with tattoos wore tight fitting dresses, their hair done up like Betty Page. Men wore classic punk studded jackets with mohawks or pompadours.
There was also a car show full of beautifully restored vintage hot rods, including classic low riders. The Tiki Drive-In stage was close by, in a grass pasture was full of people laying down and enjoying some drinks.The stand out band at that stage was the Stone Foxes, who played a mix of blues with hints of folk and funk. Lead singer Spence Koehler joked around, "Lets get dick tattoos!" Although the lacking of carefully placed, visible signs caused confusion to many drunken patrons, there were thankfully enough staff to give directions. The burlesque show in the Queen Salon was the biggest draw, with so many people that the doorway was clogged. It wasn't all nipple tassles and gyrating hips; also included was a woman named Brittany Walsh, who shot an arrow with her feet while standing on her hands.
The art show was somewhat hidden, but the view and the bluegrass band performing nearby made it worth it.
The stand out painting was of Antoine Dodson, he of "Bedroom Intruder."
He was holding a can of Colt 45; nice.
At the main stage were mosh pits and people attempting to rush the fence to get into the pit (they were getting tackled security). The Dead Kennedys rocked with punk classics like "California Uber Alles," "Nazi Punks Fuck Off," and "Too Drunk to Fuck." They finished up their set with "Chemical Warfare" to screaming fans. The singer Ron "Skip" Greer was energetic and engaging, jumping into the crowd, and doing a lap around the front giving high five's.
Rocket from the Crypt found their groove and pumped the audience back up. They performed all their hits, from "Born in 1969" to "On a Rope," but were were rudely stopped in the middle of their final song because they went over their time.