Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Format - Live at Webster Hall Aug 21, 2007

Last night Little Dynamite and I went to see The Format at Webster Hall. This was a great situation because:
A) It's right next door to The Pourhouse, our favorite watering hole
B) It's owned by the same people as The Pourhouse, which is also Lil Dynamo's semi-employer so we got in for free (only to immediately burn that $17 boon on numerous $7 bud light bottles that they pour into a cup to try to trick you into thinking you're drinking a draft beer).
C) It was a Tuesday, which was probably what pushed me over the edge to going. I mean honestly - who goes to see The Format on a Tuesday?

I'll tell you who goes to see The Format on a Tuesday. High schoolers. I did not expect, but in hindsight should not have been surprised, to find that The Format has a very young fan base. On a positive note though, this is a fan base who LOVES their band. The floor, and Dynamo will attest to this, was bouncing like a trampoline. It was a great effect, but in all seriousness they should get someone in there to check the floor for structural deficencies.

So, the crowd was totally digging it and the band was great. They have a great catalogue and they have great live energy. The band basically consists of:
- The lead singer who is some sort of borderline emo Mick Jagger / lead singer of The Hives dude who has one sweet move which is flipping the mic up into the air and snagging it out of the air with a slapping alternate hand. It's also important to note he is a major pansy.
- Some kind of Warren Zevon / Neil Young guy (directly above) who is usually in jeopardy of jerking a body part into a microphone stand or a fellow band member. He was my favorite because he is clearly (attempting to be) a man of mystery.
- A Matisyahu like guy who plays an acoustic guitar or keyboard. This guy will kill somebody in the near future; he's terrifyingly emotionless.
- A few other guys who are pretty run-of-the-mill.
(Note: We decided last night that all talented bands are made up of main bandmembers from some other place, like Minneapolis or Copenhagen. However, these people have come to New York to find a drummer and bass player. This is why all bands are based out of NY.)

I'm not going to focus on the concert too much. I think you can probably get the idea. Great atmosphere and music that I really enjoy.

Set list (courtesy, as always, of Little Dynamite cell phone storage):
1) If Work Permits
2) The Compromise
3) Tie the Rope
4) Oceans (pick this tune up - the one that has stuck in my head; I've been whistling it all day)
5) Snails
6) Tune Out
7) Wait, Wait, Wait
8) I'm Ready I Am
9) Janet
10) On Your Porch
11) Inches and Falling
12) Dog Problems
13) She Doesn't Get It

So, by the end of the concert I was saying to Dynamo that "I like these guys, but I don't respect them." Then I ate crow.

The band wrapped up their set and took off. The place was raucous and I knew they were coming back. Which they did. What transpired still knocks me out.

They got arrogant. They came out and started it out slow, as Dynamite insisted you have to on an encore. Then they hit Time Bomb, one of my faves. AND DIDN'T STOP. So they did Cause A Scene. AND DIDN'T STOP. The lead singer (I should look up his name but I'm not that legit) asked the crowd for a little help. He needed us to sing "Laa laa la la, la la la". I looked over at Dynamo and said "are they really going to do this?" AND THEY DID. They closed with Caravan, the Van Morrison song that may be my second favorite song of all time. And they nailed it. The only problem was the crowd didn't get it. The crowd was all about The Format but they just didn't have the musical background to know what they were experiencing. So Dynamite and Jack the Rabbit doublehandedly lifted the crowd onto our shoulders and rode the concert out belting out the "la la"s and pumping fists. They alienated their entire crowd (minus us and some awesome dude in the back) to finish strong. And I left the venue both liking AND respecting those dudes. Damn, what a finish

14) Matches
15) Time Bomb
16) The First Single (Cause A Scene)
17) Caravan
*as a special treat download this great cover of Caravan by another bunch of dudes (best part is the "shake it Vin, shake it." by the way i really wish i was a rock star.

In closing, great show. Goddamn I love an arrogant band.


Little Dynamite said...

great post...i think you encapsulated the night perfectly...

the encore into caravan was a surreal experience and i wanted to tell all the high schoolers that they were lame for not getting into it like they should...the format's arrogance just upped them exponentially in my book...

Jack the Rabbit said...

true - probably also important to note this night left us watching aussie rules football at 3 in the morning.

no night that ends that way could be a bad night.

heather said...

I love your review. Thank you for being hilarious and honest.

And yes, they DID close with Caravan. I didn't put that in my post, but probably should have:

Anonymous said...

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