Wednesday, August 29, 2007

... But The Little Girls Understand

The Format played a sold out show at The Trocadero in Philadelphia last Thursday night that could have easily doubled as a casting call for High School Musical. The average age of the adoring crowd was somewhere between Hannah Montana and Avril Lavigne. So what was I doing there? The Format happen to be a great band that specialize in musically sophisticated, lyrically adolescent three minute "teenage symphonies from god". And my love for that kinda stuff is embedded deep down in my marrow.

Their stage entrance was greeted with teenybop squeals of delight that gave notice that this would be one highly interactive show between the band and their congregation. Starting off with the title track from last year's much beloved Dog Problems, the awestruck group of little girls (and boys) sang every song like a swooning, lovesick choir. This process would be repeated for each song - early cheer at the recognition of the first note followed by a mass audible sigh, then sing your heart out. The only song to esacpe this nubile harmony fest was a soulful, all hands on deck cover of Van Morrison's "Caravan" that lead singer Nate Ruess handled admirably.
When introducing "Snails", lead singer Ruess said it was a song about "taking it slow" and that we should look around and hug the person next to you. Jail time would surely have beckoned if my concert partner and I had honored that request. But other than that bit of awkwardness, the night was chock full of XTC meets Queen on Broadway melodies with the great risk/reward of romance's dangers looming at every turn.
And, for the first time ever (for me anyway, Michael is way savvier), here's two songs the band didn't play during the show. If you like them, get yourself to an independent record store and buy Dog Problems today.
Turn it up, turn it up, a little bit higher... the radio.
Turn it up, that's enough, so you know... it's got soul.


-tom said...

I counted at least 15 musicians on stage during that version of Caravan. Good stuff.

futureboy said...

I really thought that guy from dateline was going to jump out on the way back to the car. You tube has some great footage from this show.