Slinging ink Tattoo Expo San :: EXPO

Alex Kass xVx Tattooer San

Slinging ink Tattoo Expo San

A buzz permeated the air over the weekend at the Wonderland of Americas Mall. Make that several of them. Inside and out.

While the sound of needles painting flesh was omnipresent as the annual Slinging Ink Tattoo Expo tatted up three days' worth of people indoors looking for that shiny, new, permanent memento, Saturday's outdoor concert featured veteran Italian band Lacuna Coil headlining with Kyng, Eve To Adam and Cilver providing support.

The free (admission and parking) festivities provided an unusual set-up for rockers and fans. Situated between the Wonderland's stage and the audience, which was either seated on the lawn or standing on the sidewalk or along the balcony, was a sizable fountain (slideshow, top left). While the unorthodox scenery had the musicians reacting to it in various ways, Eve to Adam vocalist Taki Sassaris took a more direct approach. He defied any thought of being electrocuted by bravely, crazily, (insert other description of choice here) performing his band's finale in the ankle-deep water.

In the mall's defense, it's not as if the fountain popped up overnight. Although the venue has occasional jazz concerts and other forms of casual musical entertainment throughout the year, it was not designed for the purpose of staging a rock concert, as evidenced by the fact Slinging Ink has been held at various venues, such as Freeman Coliseum, in previous years. Everyone on hand simply had to roll with it on a drizzly afternoon and evening in the low 60s and high 50s.

Mic issues preceding Lacuna Coil's scheduled 70-minute set were temporarily more of a problem, forcing the band to axe a couple of tunes from its original setlist. But that hardly dampened the band's or fans' enthusiasm. Playing a mere four days after the release of Broken Crown Halo, dual vocalists Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro delighted roughly 1, 000 fans with their talented pipes on a good mix of new and older tunes (click the video box at left for the SAMME's footage of new tune "Zombies" and classic "Heaven's A Lie").

Guitarist Marco Biazzi and bassist Marco Coti Zelati posed for pictures with fans during the afternoon while partaking in a huge funnel cake topped with an ice cream cone (see slideshow). After briefly coming out of the tour bus to check out the food trucks and take a photo with a pair of San Antonio's finest, Scabbia interacted with the crowd throughout the performance. On one occasion, she recalled while looking skyward: "Last time we came to San Antonio was many years ago with a guy named Rob Zombie. We had to cancel because of the rain. So thank you, whatever is up there, for allowing us to play today." Prior to that, Lacuna Coil's most recent "actually played" visit may have been a 2007 stop at Sunset Station opening for Stone Sour.

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In between competitions, we performed for thousands of people at venues such as the Twin Cities Pet Expo. After shows and competitions, many of the families would stick around to meet and pet the dogs.

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