Madball (photo via the band's Myspace page)
Beyond the unending, dentist-office-like whir of hundred of tattoo needles buzzing on and off, the Miami Tattoo Expo will feature another soundtrack -- an impressive lineup of local and national musical acts. While other South Florida tattoo conventions have relied mostly on rockabilly cover bands and the like, the Miami expo has garnered a reputation for putting on full-on shows on its various stages.
Because tattoo collectors comprise an ever-broader swath of the populace, and because the expo is sponsored by such divergent music-related businesses as Power 96 and Eulogy Recordings, the musical lineup is, thus, equally eclectic. Years past have been heavy on hardcore and punk; this year features more of the same, but also a surprisingly heavy dose of street and even Latin-flavor hip-hop. For the sake of fans who mostly stick to one genre or the other, likeminded acts have been grouped together by day. Here's a rundown of the schedule.
Friday, January 9: Jay Vega, Piccalo, Charlie Hustle, Unda Surveillance, DJ Laz, and Brisco
entertainment is clearly dominated by sponsor Power 96's aesthetic,
kicking off in the afternoon with reggaetonero/rapper Jay Vega.
Meanwhile the king of Power 96, DJ Laz, has a new album to push, and
doubtless will rely mostly on cuts from that album. Hopefully, though,
he'll bust out some of his old-school bass jams, which always go down
well with any crowd. The highlight of today, though, is Opa-locka
rapper Brisco. Considering his association with the Poe Boy camp, and
heavy airplay of his latest single, "Just Know Dat" featuring Lil
Wayne, this may be one of the last times he performs such an intimate
show before he goes the way of longtime pal Flo Rida.
Saturday, January 10: La Vieja Guardia, The New Threat, Thick as Blood, Evergreen Terrace, and Madball
Friday belongs to Power 96, Saturday truly belongs to Eulogy
Recordings. The local talent featured here includes the searing,
Spanish-language, old-school hardcore kick of La Vieja Guardia, as well
as the brutal breakdown-soaked quintet Thick as Blood. From a little
further up north comes the New Threat, an Orlando trio who keep alive
the flame of breakneck, Eighties American skate punk a la Minor Threat
and Descendents. And finally, avid mosh bros will want to do some extra
pre-pit stretches for the evenings headliners: Jacksonville's crushing
metalcore fivesome, Evergreen Terrace, and the legendary New York
Sunday, January 11: The Shoreline, Macallee King, JT Money, and Jim Jones
final and shortest day of the expo also boasts the more random and less
exciting musical lineup of the three days. The early afternoon features
the neon-bedecked, studio-polished pop-punk stylings of the Shoreline,
an Orlando-based quartet heavy on Warped Tour-ready, radio-friendly
hooks. Strangely, they're followed a couple hours later by the likes of
JT Money -- the Miami rapper you may remember by his major hit over a
decade ago, "Who Dat." More interesting is the appearance of Jim Jones,
one-sixth of the beloved Dipset.
-- Arielle Castillo