No doubt we'll call it an early day -- I can tell the Friends of Unfair Park have better things to do, and good for you. But before we say, "Till next year," a few words, very few, about a night spent in Deep Ellum -- my first since, well, I can't really can't recall. At first blush, standing amongst familiar faces likewise venturing out for a small taste of the time warp, it felt like a high-school reunion held in the dressed-up school gym -- never more so than when The Toadies, the first night into a two-night stand at Trees, dusted off "Run In With My Dad," a two-decades old deep cut. Good Lord, it's been how long? Many thanks to Jeff Liles for providing the video above: the title track to 2001's Hell Below/Stars Above, a highlight among many. Dallas, this is our classic rock.
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But on this New Year's Eve I'll restrain from the backward-glancing; nostalgia for Deep Ellum seems so passé at this late date besides. Onward to the future: I was mightily impressed with Trees' cross-the-street neighbor La Grange, which opened on the very night The Toadies had their downtown homecoming. I ran into Pete, who asked me what I thought. "Nice," I said. "Too nice," he countered, as though such a thing is possible in a neighborhood still dominated by empty storefronts and eateries that close early on ghost town weekdays. With The O's and the King Bucks on the bill, the bar was primed and packed -- a welcome addition to any part of town. I'll return to La Grange sooner than later, and when I do I hope to discover a band I've never heard of. Just like the good old days.