In the past 10 years, Rhett Miller and his band The Old 97's have performed in the KEXP studios eight times — that's just how much KEXP listeners and DJs love them. We were lucky to have Miller drop by The Afternoon Show to perform songs from the latest Old 97's album, The Grand Theatre, Volume One.
Even though it's called The Afternoon Show, Miller seemed to still be waking up. With each passionate performance, he seemed to shake himself awake, strumming hard on his guitar with genuine joy and throwing his whole body into each chord. I even heard him trying to catch his breath before busting into a rousing rendition of "Champaign, Illinois," a song for which he shares a songwriting credit with Bob Dylan.
Another song I wanted Miller to explain was "The Dance Class" — I wasn't sure if it was me, or him, or the character in the song, but I got a Lolita vibe from the song. He was more than happy to explain it, and just as happy to perform it.