Old 97's celebrate 15th anniversary at State Theatre in St. Petersburg

February 7, 2013 

Alt-country hero Rhett Miller and his Old 97's band went about a decade without playing Tampa Bay before performing at Skipper's Smokehouse two years ago.

Luckily, we didn't have to wait so long for a return.

The Old 97's 15th anniversary tour stops at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg on Saturday.

"We get a lot of grief about it," Miller said when asked about the Tampa Bay hiatus during my interview with him in 2011.

"And rightly so. We should've come back. We just hired a new booking agent and I think we'll be coming to the southeast, and the Tampa Bay area specifically, more often."

Here's to hoping the Old 97's are around for another 15 years with many more shows near the Gulf Coast.

And that Miller sings his love-sick classic "Wish the Worst" on Saturday. It's a personal favorite from back in the mid-1990s.

Details: 7 p.m. (doors), Feb. 9, State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Tickets: $16. Information: 727-895-3045 or www.statemedia.com.

--Wade Tatangelo

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