One more song
The Syracuse University Schine Underground echoed rock-driven melodies Wednesday night when indie pop-rock band The Format played an energetic, sold-out performance.
The audience was very receptive, clapping, singing and dancing along to the band’s infectious songs, a mix from its first album ‘Interventions and Lullabies’ and this summer’s release ‘Dog Problems.’
The show was the second concert of the semester in the Bandersnatch Music Series, a division of University Union Concerts.
The Format opened around 9:40 p.m. with its biggest hit ‘The First Single (Cause a Scene)’ and followed it with another song from its first album ‘Wait, Wait, Wait.’
Lead singer Nate Ruess held the mike into the audience, who enthusiastically sang along.
‘This feels really great,’ Ruess told the crowd early in the show, of the band’s return to the stage. ‘We haven’t been on tour for a few months. This is our first show back … There’s something about it that feels awesome.’
The band will begin a tour with the All-American Rejects later this week.
The show featured the band’s characteristic sound, a blend of emotional lyrics with crisp, upbeat pop melodies. Ruess’ passionate performance emphasized the reflective and bitter nature of the songs’ lyrics.
The emotional high point of the show came with the slowest song of the night, ‘On Your Porch,’ which created a departure from the upbeat nature of the rest of the show. The audience seemed clearly moved by Ruess’ passionate performance on love and family illness.
Throughout the show, music and lyrics filled the air, while the upbeat tempos created an overall fun and enthusiastic atmosphere.
The small venue led to a conversational environment between Ruess and the crowd in between songs.
‘I love Carmelo Anthony,’ he yelled. ‘What do you want me to say?’
After they played ‘If Work Permits,’ the band left the stage as the crowd quickly began chanting, ‘One more song.’
They were rewarded with four more songs, including a cover of British Invasion band, The Kinks’ song, ‘Ape Man.’
The band opened the encore with an exuberant performance of the title song off its sophomore album, ‘Dog Problems,’ which proved to be a crowd favorite.
”Dog Problem’ was by far my favorite song played,’ said sophomore marketing major Caitlin Prince.
Prince, who saw The Format over the summer, said the SU show was much better, because of audience participation.
‘More people sang along and knew the songs,’ she said. ‘They were really getting into it.’
During the encore, a crowd member asked for the song, ‘Tie the Rope,’ which seemed to grate on Ruess’s nerves.
”Tie the Rope?” he yelled. ‘You tie the rope. Don’t tell me what to play.’
The band did however end the show with an energetic rendition of ‘Tie the Rope,’ one of the better known songs from its first album.
Freshman industrial design major Sam Thompson was very impressed by the show, and danced along throughout the concert.
‘They were even better than I ever expected,’ he said.
Opening for The Format were local Syracuse band Anorexic Beauty Queen and the band This Day and Age.
While Anorexic Beauty Queen’s punk rock seemed out of place with the crowd, the complex keyboard-driven pop sound of This Day and Age served as a fitting intro to The Format.
The formerly unresponsive audience began to gain enthusiasm as This Day and Age played its unique melodies.
‘We’re close to home,’ lead singer and guitarist Jeffrey Martin told the audience. ‘We’re going home to Buffalo in about a month. It’s kind of a tease.’
Martin disappointed the crowd, however, when he informed them this would be the band’s last tour together.
‘(This Day and Age) was amazing,’ Thompson said. ‘For me it was sad to learn about this great band and then find out this is their last tour.’
As the crowd left the Underground around 11 p.m., they seemed excited about the night’s concert.
‘That was an excellent show, capital ‘e’ excellent,’ said Bandersnatch President Sterling Proffer. ‘Now we’re excited for the rest of the semester.’
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