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So if, on this Thursday night, people weren't dwelling on the past, you'll have to forgive them.
"We'd be kidding ourselves," says Club Dada co-owner Amanda Newman, "if we were trying to move forward to a vision of the past and of what Deep Ellum once was."
The perfect storm that swelled to create the live music scene that was once so strong in these parts has passed. But—newsflash, folks—the fact remains there's still no other part of town that offers this many music clubs in so small a radius. There's no other part of town that puts such an emphasis on original live music. There's no other part of town that will forever be as rooted in its own musical history.
If that means the music has to take its spot on the backburner for the time being, then so be it. Because, as Campagna, a Deep Ellum resident since 1981, says over the hum of Grassfight's set at The Amsterdam, the music may be a little tougher to find these days, but it hasn't gone anywhere.
"You can still see the same bands somewhere," he says. "It's just that there's a certain evolution that goes on. I remember in '83 and '84 people bitching about how Deep Ellum isn't cool anymore. That was 25 years ago. Give it the fuck up, people! You can't just keep doing the same thing, no matter what it is. It doesn't make it right, it doesn't make it wrong. It's just change."
On Thursday night in Exposition Park, several Dallasites seemed to understand this. Maybe its time the rest of us do too.