Anyone inside the Gypsy Tea Room last night would never have suspected Deep Ellum is hurtin' for cover-paying peeps. A bill of Celebration and TV on the Radio begged for a packed house, and fans responded in kind. Now, both are national acts, to be fair, but nevertheless, looking back from our perfectly staked-out spot for openers-but-shoulda-been-headliners Celebration, the view of the crowd was exciting and surprising. Apparently, I wasn't the only one who felt that way. In the tightly packed space a fellow sardine uttered, "Wow, I didn't know this many people liked music."
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Both sets (with members from both bands guesting with one another on select songs) certainly rewarded patrons for their trip downtown, but Celebration was the show-stealer with a set that could be described as motivating. Those that don't dance danced. Those that don't unfold their arms pulled out a few fist pumps. Sweat was shed. Amid myriad comments of "Those guys kicked ass" and "I was so impressed," one really captured the intensity of Celebration's performance: "Short of the death of an immediate family member, there's nothing that couldn't have waited until the end of that show." That's what happens when you like music. --Merritt Martin