Concerts

A Brief Guide to The Format for Confirmed fun. Fans

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(N.B.: We also have A brief guide to accepting fun. for confirmed fans of The Format.)

"We Are Young" -- It's tough to find a song from anybody that's quite as anthemic or of the moment as fun.'s biggest hit, which was resilient enough to fight off challenges from a full cadre of booming, echoey '80s-throwback dance tracks atop the iTunes charts.

But The Format did some anthemic, too. "Let's Make This Moment A Crime," from offers all of the rapid-youthful-intimacy bombast and the loud chorus, with, for better or worse, less of the Janelle Monae. It also sounds less like it was recorded to a tape filled with carnival sounds than most Format songs, which makes for an easier transition from fun.

The Format's a very different band from fun., but Nate Ruess's distinct voice isn't the only thing they share; both bands mix anxious, wordy lyrics with big, accessible music, and both write deceptively weird songs. On first listen their songs feel like straightforward pop; it's when you go back afterward and try to diagram what you've just heard that you realize how many "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey"-style changes it took them to get you there.

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Dan Moore