Slip and the Spinouts rocked the house during The Mai-Kai’s fourth annual Hulaween on Oct. 26 in Fort Lauderdale. The South Florida rockabilly favorites were the highlight of the seven-hour party that also included a costume contest, retro tunes and the return of a special “lost cocktail.”
See below: Video, photos from the party
* See the Hulaween poster | Event preview
The party kicked off in The Molokai bar with the Atomic Retro Happy Hour pre-party from 5 to 7 p.m. hosted by The Atomic Grog. In a salute to the half-century-old Mai-Kai, the musical playlist featured tunes spanning the 1930s to the 1980s, from Skip James to The Cramps. A special thanks to Mrs. Hurricane for digging up most of the eclectic music.
Partygoers were also treated to a “lost cocktail” that was on The Mai-Kai’s original 1956 menu but has been retired for years. The Last Rites was a deadly concoction perfect for the occasion, impeccably crafted and presented by manager Kern Mattei’s bar staff.
* Click here for a Last Rites review and new tribute recipe
Also featured was the Captain Morgan Black Barrel, a sweeter version of the iconic Barrel O’ Rum made with Captain Morgan Black. The Captain Morgan girls also showed up later to pass out free samples of drinks featuring their new high-proof spiced rum.
By 7:30, the the bar was full of costumed revelers and ready for the first set of rockabilly, Western, swing, surf, blues and roots music from Slip and the Spinouts. The band – Slip Mahoney (guitar/vocals), Marvin Ray Hawkins (stand-up bass), and Scott Hanin (drums) – raised the energy level immediately as the dance floor filled with zombies, ghouls and a motley assortment of characters. Appearing in full costume – with Slip effectively channeling Elvis – the veteran group was the perfect fit for the party.
The dance floor remained active during the short break as the sound of classic Halloween and dance tunes – such as Time Warp and Jaan Pehechaan Ho – filled the room. Slip returned in a new costume – a tribute to the goateed Hawkins – and the band ripped through another 45 minutes of classic tracks from Johnny Cash, Hank Williams Sr. and many more.
The Molokai was packed as the costume contest approached and dozens of contestants lined up to be judged. Many of The Mai-Kai staff – such as event organizers Mattei and marketing director Pia Dahlquist – were also in full costume. Owner Dave Levy was “The Skipper” and his family and friends other characters from Gilligan’s Island.
The contestants were narrowed down to a smaller group for final judging as Slip and the Spinouts performed a short set. Mahoney morphed into his third character of the night, and by now the band was cranking on all cylinders.
The winner of the grand prize (a two-night, three-day hotel stay in Orlando) provided by The Mai-Kai was Mr. Voo Doo. Runners-up receiving Mai-Kai gift certificates, bottles of wine and Captain Morgan party baskets were: Little Richard, the Zombie Wedding, Malificent, and the Butterfly Catcher. After the contest, the band came back for yet another set, keeping the live music going past 11:30. The party was still alive and kicking as the clock struck 12, a full seven hours after it began.
The event proved South Florida’s appetite for a classy Halloween bash, along with the enduring appeal of The Mai-Kai, which turns 56 in December. Check back soon for details on an anniversary party.
(Video by DBN Magazine)
Hulaween photo gallery
(Click on thumbnails to see larger images or to view as slideshow)