Saturday November 12th heralded the third annual Kink Music Festival and we were lucky to be there covering for the second year in a row! With two stages for bands, a tattoo convention, and classic car show Kink was once again a full day affair that kept you running all over the grounds to enjoy everything the festival had to offer.
The biggest upgrade from last year’s Kink was that the Orlando Amphitheater had been built making the main stage even better than last year. The headline bands for this year’s festival included Murderfly, Sleepwave, Sick Puppies, In Flames, Hellyeah, and we closed out the night with Evanescence. Murderfly, Orlando locals, kicked off the day with their hardcore metal, riling the crowd up right off the bat. Up next was Sleepwave, a rock band based out of St. Pete, Florida by Spencer Chamberlain after this dissolution of Underoath. Sleepwave was tight on the stage with each musician playing off of each other and interacting with the crowd. By the time Sick Puppies took the stage, thousands of later comers had swarmed the stage and swelled the crowd. Sick Puppies singer, Bryan Scott, appointed Orlando’s own Billy Wright (aka the Midnight Mosher) as the Mosh Pit Leader and the pit overtook a large area of the grounds. A huge shoutout to everyone participating in the moshpits throughout the day, as I never saw anyone hit the ground before someone was already helping them back up. The Kink fans were extremely respectful and that’s truly what these shows are all about.
In Flames hit the stage as the sun went down, and they were clearly anticipated by the crowd. The Swedish heavy metal band had not played the states in over a year and a half, and Florida much longer than that. Having their first show back in the US was a treat for the fans as the band absolutely killed this reunion show. Hellyeah followed, and with this being our second time seeing Hellyeah this year, we already knew it was going to be a great performance. These guys never stop moving, never stop interacting, and never stop plowing through chord and chord. From blood spitting to Vinnie Paul, what isn’t there to love about Hellyeah? They can pound out the hardest metal songs and then bring the house down with the greatest ballads. Evanescence closed out the night with an absolutely incredible performance. Between the faster paced heavy songs, crew would bring out a full sized piano that Amy Lee used to serenade the enormous crowd that was now in front of her. When Paul McCoy of 12 Stones surprised the crowd, and joined Lee on their hit song “Bring Me to Life” the crowd quickly got over their shock and screamed loudly along with them – definitely the highlight of the set.
The local stage of the festival was once again used to showcase up and coming bands from the Orlando area. These bands included Auditory Armory, YugoSKAvia, Breathing Theory, American Party Machine, F.I.L.T.H (returning from last year!), and Meka Nism. Seated across from the local stage was the classic car show, that had about 15 souped up cars that were decked out with skulls, flames, and intrinsic detailing.
The tattoo convention homed around 60 artists, and returning from last year in the center of the convention was the Metamorphosis Suspension Group. These artists tattooed the entire day while patrons continued to sign up and wait their turns to get inked. As was the case last year, the suspension group was a highlight of the event, as I kept finding myself coming in to watch the acts between bands. While rope suspensions were represented, the hook suspensions had the crowd on their toes. The onlookers seemed both intrigued and horrified while people hung from hooks pierced through their skin. The entire group deserves much respect for not only putting on a great show, but also taking great care of their people. We witnessed a girl doing a fairly intense looking suspension and started to feel sick (I’m with you girl – props to you for being able to do it at all) while the other members of the group got her rehydrated and amped up to give it another go! I’m sure she’s glad she did as the end suspension result was absolutely beautiful! The Miss Orlando Tattoo Contest was once again decided by audience participation – with the winner edging out the runner up by just a hair.
I said it last year, and I’ll say it again - Kink is getting bigger and better every year. The bands are bigger, the crowds are bigger, and let’s hope it doesn’t slow down. Kink is one of the best Orlando festivals we have, and we can’t wait to see what next year brings to the table!