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The Format promises an impressive acoustic concert

Jess Shaffer | Thursday, November 29, 2007

The, may I say, “winning challenged” football season is over. Television is officially being ravaged by a writer’s strike that is still in full swing. It’s too cold to be outside, and too close to the end of the semester to be in the library, God forbid, letting collegiate studying begin this weekend. But this Saturday, musical salvation can rescue you from boredom and homework. At 10 p.m. trendy fan favorite The Format will take the stage at Notre Dame’s Legends night club. This Arizona-based band is sure to satisfy your music needs in the sometimes artistically starved South Bend. There’s no cover charge, thanks to the Student Union Board, so there is no reason not to take the time to go and check out this group. In any city across the country, this would be a sold-out concert with tickets going for roughly $30. Notre Dame’s intimate free viewing of the group would make any urban indie aficionado more than a little jealous. Please don’t let the band’s indie label fool or intimidate you. While The Format’s indie inclination falls under what is often called alternative rock, don’t anticipate the angst of emo or artistic superiority. This group is not about musical elitism. The Format is stellar at defying the stereotypes of its genre to create genuine tunes that are just plain good. Even if you are typically more of a Top 40s fan, you’ll find this band’s underground vibe to be a welcome departure from conventional music. The Format draws on influences from a hodgepodge of musical genres. Its sound hints of everything from classic and modern rock to pop to jazz and folk. Its melodic instrumentals are reminiscent of Queen. And its consistent heartiness captures the energy of the British punk movement in a more contained, easy-on-the-ears package. Its cohesive, developed style is not hindered by its diverse background. Rather, The Format has discovered a master balance of fluid musical variety that it delivers with distinct execution. The Format offers fun music that is mature and intelligent. Whether you’ve been a fan for years or haven’t heard of the group until now, The Format is worth taking time to go and see. Staying attuned to what makes a good listen, this group offers a fresh take on a completely enjoyable music experience. Combining smart, refined lyrics and a buoyant instrumental, The Format is one of the current favorites of the indie field, which includes The Shins or Death Cab for Cutie. The Format’s greatest strength is its ability to give its audience a musical experience unlike any other. Expect a distinctive show this weekend: The Format has opened for bands like The All American Rejects and headlined its own shows. This group has the experience it takes to pull off a small acoustic concert, so get ready to soak up some impressive tunes. Also be advised to wear comfy shoes. You will be standing during this performance, and you won’t be standing still.