Aftermath: The Russian Spring Festival At Under The Volcano

Aftermath didn't think it was possible, but this year's Russian Spring Festival at Under the Volcano was twice as large as it was last year. This, of course, led to twice the chaotic fun that eventually exhausted the revelers.

Assisted by local accordion whiz and vocalist Greg Harbar, Austin's Flying Balalaika Brothers played four sets, each building in intensity until the climax was reached with their final encore at 9 pm. They had been onstage almost six hours at that point.

hey played everything from "Those Were the Days" to Elmore James's "The Sky Is Crying." In keeping with International Women's Day, they even dropped a monster version of Bob Marley's "No Woman, No Cry."

Aftermath has attended many events at Under the Volcano, but has never seen as many dancers as Sunday. At times the dance area was writhing sea of bodies.

The Russian Cultural Center deserves credit for keeping the Russian pancakes and finger food going non-stop to the end. With the massive crowd the festival drew this year, it was a Herculean kitchen task, but went off without a hitch. Looking back, it seems like an almost impossible task.

Aftermath can't wait for winter, so we can do this again next year when it's over.

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William Michael Smith