click to enlarge Gogol Bordello at State Theatre, 2008. - Phil Bardi
Phil Bardi
Gogol Bordello at State Theatre, 2008.

687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-895-3045,

According to lore, the State was once a movie theater that played mostly blaxploitation flicks. It sat empty for a couple of decades, then was rehabbed in the late '80s and opened as a concert venue. The no-frills room is largely a punk and indie rock venue these days, but over the years it has hosted singer/songwriters like John McCutcheon and Rickie Lee Jones, jam acts (Derek Trucks) and even the occasional jazz or country show. Recent upgrades to the acoustics, the A/C and the ventilation system — and a no-smoking policy instituted a couple years ago — have made the theater a more hospitable hang. As it stands now, the State largely caters to younger concertgoers.

Memories Any number of local shows, including Marty Rice's Memorial Day Incidents and a couple of packed-house blowouts by pop-punkers Joe Popp • Todd Rundgren showcasing his With a Twist bossa nova material several years ago • The late Mississippi hill country bluesman R.L. Burnside in his only Bay area show last decade • Atlanta metal gods Mastodon stomping through a mind-blowing performance of its masterful major-label debut disc, Blood Mountain, a couple years back.

Capacity: 700

Grub: None

Booze: Full liquor

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