The Format - Live at the Mayan Theatre [DVD]
Label - The Vanity Label
Release Date: November 13, 2007
The Format have finally released a DVD so everyone can see what long time fans have been talking about for so long.
Of course, when this DVD was originally released, people had no clue that the band would later go on an ďIndefinite Hiatus,Ē but looking back now I canít think of a better way to tie together the loose ends. After releasing an instant classic Dog Problems, The Format was up against the impossible: creating something better. But to tide people over until the next album they released Live at the Mayan Theatre. For any die hard Format fans this is a dream, a full concert that contains a twenty-one song set list with Dog Problems played in itís entirety.
In the beginning, the boys walk out dressed to impress in their suits and vests. Throw in a horn and string section with a couple friends (Reubenís Accomplice, Robb Maclean and Patrick Carrie of Limbeck, Jack Antonoff of Steel Train, and Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World) and you are ready for an amazing night. The band starts the night off by playingDog Problems from front to back. While this may not be ideal for fans of the first album, it hits the spot for me. Dog Problems is just one of those albums that that you fall in love with once you hear it. Ruessís distinct voice and melodies are so catchy that even the casual music fan can appreciate The Format. This album just has some magic way of staying with you now matter what musical changes you go through in life. I find that the more I grow and the more complex my life becomes I find myself turning to Dog Problems for support. Itís not every day that an indie-pop classic like this comes out, so for those of you that have slept on it, itís time to get on the ball. The entire show projects a bigger image than just the band. Itís hard to put into words, but the performance is so much more than just an ordinary performance. It has every base covered for a complete show and experience that is indescribable. The most reasonable comparison that comes to mind is seeing a play that leaves you with a feeling of satisfaction. Thatís the feeling that I am left with after watching this DVD. When Dog Problems is finished, the band plays a few older fan favorites to finish off the seemingly perfect night. Maybe itís just the mix of the guest artists, setting, and current time and place that makes this is truly something special. Itís an actual musical performance that strikes emotions that only certain life events could. When youíre watching the DVD, you canít help but smile and feel joy, but at the same time, feel upset when you remember the current state of the band. I dare to compare this to any graduation from school, in the terms of emotions that are provoked. While youíre sad to move on and go through new life experiences, you canít help but be excited for whatís to come in the future.
The only bonus feature on the disc is a short documentary called "If Work Permits," which is about the making of Dog Problems and where the band got their inspiration for the album. The members of the band discuss everything from where the album title came from, the recording process, being dropped from a major label, and how grateful they are for their fans and their diehard support.
In all reality, this DVD can be for new and old fans alike. It truly is a release that anyone can appreciate. Like I said before, if this is the bandís final release, I can honestly say I would be satisfied. Although it wasnít a long and drawn out career, the music they made touched people and still stays strong until this day.
This is one of the best purchases I've ever made. I never got to see them live so this really is the closest I'll get and it's a fantastic show. You're right about it provoking emotion; I cried the first time I watched this DVD. It's a must-have for and fan of The Format.
A lot of the things you said, about them staying with you throughout your life's changes and how you can turn back to them are so right. I feel the same way.
No matter how I'm feeling, what I've done, or what I've been listening to lately, The Format is one of very few bands who can keep me entertained always. That's why they're my favorite band. Good review.