Dia De Los Toadies

DFW alt-rockers get their day in the sun

Dia De Los Toadies

Dia De Los Toadies has become the Willie’s Picnic of a new generation, a Central Texas tradition that brings together an unlikely assortment of rednecks, stoners, and frat kids, with plenty of booze to go around. The third annual gathering of the tribes on Saturday even took place at New Braunfels’ counterpart to the Backyard, Whitewater on the Horseshoe.

Even Toadies frontman Todd Lewis acknowledged that this was their strongest line-up to date. It was a snap shot of Texas music that included Austin’s Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, Heartless Bastards, and the Bright Light Social Hour; Denton’s Centro-matic; San Antonio’s Girl in a Coma; and El Paso’s At the Drive-In offshoot Sleepcar, among others.

Unfortunately, OTR spent too much time taking in Whitewater’s other services, mainly a four-hour float down the Guadalupe River, to offer much of an account of the opening acts. Instead the occasion served to reiterate the enduring legacy the Toadies created almost entirely through its Interscope debut, 1995’s Rubberneck, a Lone Star classic of depraved alt-rock that continues to dominate local airwaves. The DFW four-piece – Lewis, guitarist Clark Vogeler, bassist Doni Blair, and drummer Mark Reznicek – opened with a brief acoustic set, not unlike their Waterloo appearance, that knocked out the group’s three biggest hits, "Possum Kingdom," "I Come From the Water," and "Tyler."

Then the Toadies came alive. With a fierceness that made their 2008 Lollapalooza appearance pale in the comparison, the band ripped through selections from their reunion album No Deliverance, and recently released Feeler, a revised version of their aborted second album, originally recorded in 1997, including the should’ve-been MTV smash "Waterfall." The Toadies always came back to Rubberneck though, even repeating some of the acoustic material, an odd and obviously redundant move. Then again, it was their party.

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