Since The Format went on hiatus a few years ago, the once unconquerable Peoria duo — Nate Ruess and Sam Means — have gone their separate ways. Means, who still pops up at the occasional local show, recently released his soundtrack to The Sinking of Santa Isabel, an indie comedy that was released last year. Means also runs Hello Merch, an independent company he founded in 2008 to give artists an outlet to manufacture and sell their merch online and on tour without giving up their rights. As Format fans already know, Ruess fronts fun., a Brooklyn-based indie pop-rock act. Ruess will return to the state he once called home this week. The band, which shared a bill with Taking Back Sunday and Manchester Orchestra this year, is touring in support of its debut album, Aim & Ignite. Like many Format devotees, I was heartbroken when the band announced its members were going their separate ways. However, Aim & Ignite is proof that fun. is a lot like The Format. The disc is filled with sugary pop songs and hand-clappin' melodies and is an all-around fun (no pun intended) listen. We're betting that Means will be in attendance once again when Ruess and company bring the album to life this weekend. Maybe we can urge him onstage?


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