I've barely recovered from this weekend's Toddfest 2006. What, you ask, is Toddfest? Why, it's an evening of raucous music, sultry vixens and fire spinning against the downtown night sky. It is the event of the summer, and it's invitation only.
After attending two of the last three Toddfests, I am hooked. Each year is better and bigger than the last, but after Saturday night's party, I have no idea how it can get any better. The bash took over the venue recently known as the Velvet Spade. The Spade has had a change in ownership and I believe the new name will be the Mohawk. Unusual choice for an owner who wants to attract more of the upscale live music loving crowd instead of the more financially challenged goth/punk contingent. Not that all goth & punk music lovers are poverty stricken, but there is a reason why most Red River clubs have cheap drinks and low cover charges.
The annual party is the brainchild of an Austin mover and shaker who wanted a unique way to celebrate her husband's birthday. She incorporated their love of live music with Keep Austin Weird-ness and Toddfest was born.
The Killer Crocs of Uganda kicked off the night, taking the stage as attendees streamed in, eager for entertainment and cold beverages. Sponsors sported huge buttons stating "I kick ass so buy me a beer", a thank you for their monetary contribution. The music was rockin' and the crowd was growing. With a guest list over 200, the door man was busy checking his clipboard and affixing wristbands.
During set changes, two fire spinners performed rooftop, much to the delight of all. There's nothing like dancing flames to rev up an already excited mass. And then Maulie Keebler stepped up to the stage. Miss Maulie is a burlesque dancer whose recent performances include appearances with the Red Light Burlesque troop. She is gorgeous, all redheaded sexiness and in seconds had all eyes glued to her. Her first set was a fun and sassy two song number that ended with her stripping down behind giant playing cards in a fan dance meets gambling kind of way. The debut of her pasties met with intense crowd approval.
The Humiliators were up next, with Toddfest's man of the night at the helm. Their tight sound and contagious energy captured all. Rockin' the house, the band threw out their brand of good ole rock & roll and we ate it up. Panties were tossed on stage, fans screaming and there was enough camera flashes to rival Hollywood papparazzi.
Another set change brought the fire spinners back to the roof and Maulie following. Her second act, featuring a giant champagne cup, captured the attention of people walking down the street. Who doesn't love a good dish of seduction, served up with a side of risqué naughtiness? Maulie had everyone, male and female, under her spell. Roaring with appreciation, the throng followed her every move, as she eventually ended up in the champagne cup and soaking herself along with the first several rows of spectators. An aggressive, uninvited onlooker had to be removed from the fence where he was attempting to gain enough of an entry to video Maulie. Instead, he met her intense (and handsome) bodyguard, in a very up close and personal kind of way.
Closing out the evening was Steamroller, an Austin favorite. Jamming until closing time, the band kept the beat going and the party mood elevated to the point that it was a shock to hear last call announced. No way the night could be over already! The crowd thinned, people slipped away after expressing thanks to the host and hostess, content with a full night of some of the best live entertainment you could ask for in a Saturday night. A rockin' great time!