The Format, Honorary Title, Limbeck, Steel Train, Reuben’s Accomplice – Live (August 10th, 2007)

  • Bobby Gorman posted
  • Reviews

The Format, Honorary Title, Limbeck, Steel Train, Reuben's Accomplice

Live (August 10th, 2007) - Dinwoodie Lounge - Edmonton, Alberta

Arriving a bit later then planned, I walked into the Dinwoodie Lounge as Reuben’s Accomplice were half way through their set. Out of the five bands there that night, they were the only band I hadn’t heard before and while they weren’t anything that blew me away, they were quite solid for the opening act of a five band bill. Slow and mellow indie pop just like the rest of the acts, Reuben’s Accomplice warmed up the crowd nicely getting them to move in closer and get into the show more despite their slightly lack luster stage presence.

Following them was New Jersey’s Steel Train, a band that I have previously stated my great hatred for – I found them boring and over hyped and was not looking forward to seeing them at all. So that’s why it came to me as such a surprise that I actually really liked their set. Like, a lot. Maybe it was because the set consisted entirely of new songs from their forthcoming album instead of the boring songs from their debut (which makes me excited to hear Trampoline when it finally does get released). Maybe it was just seeing them live that enabled them to really sink in. I don’t know, but the band was great. They were energetic and move around, the vocals were strong and the lyrics were incredibly impressive. On top of that, the band was able to mix it up throughout their entire set as members from The Format, Reuben’s Accomplice and Limbeck all came on and shared the stage with the band at various moments of their set. The most memorable moment came from when they put down their instruments and joined Jack up front. With only an acoustic guitar, the band stood arm in arm and sang together into two microphones in front of them creating a sense of brotherhood and simplicity that came through as sincere and honest; and while I still hate their debut, something tells me Trampoline will blow me away.

After a quick set change, Limbeck – another band I wasn’t really looking forward to – hit the stage. Sadly, unlike Steel TrainLimbeck failed to impress me and turn me into a fan. While their set was energetic and sounded well enough, I couldn’t get into their country-inspired pop music. They had a decent stage presence and the few people there who knew them were really into them; for me though, they were bland and I just waited patiently for The Honorary Title to take the stage. The Brooklyn act was, finally, a band I really wanted to see and was expecting a lot from and while they didn’t necessarily disappoint I will say that I was hoping for a bit more. Yes, they sounded good – Jared’s vocals were perfect – but they were also moderately flat. They tried to keep that gloomy aura of their music in tact, they also lost some stage presence and failed to really engage the crowd in anyway. Add in the constant sound problems they were having with broken amps and bad monitor settings and their performance was less than perfect. The added keyboard breakdown on Everything I Once Had came as an unpleasant surprise too.

Finally, Arizona’s The Format took the stage and the crowd started to become excited. It was clear that The Format were the main attraction for most people there as everyone there sang back every word back at them. The band came out in full force, with energy, excitement, a good light show and a very strong stage presence. Despite Nate Ruess being slight ill, he was able to hit the right notes and run around the stage energetically. Playing a mix of songs from Interventions + Lullabies and Dog ProblemsThe Format had the crowd singing along in no time as they played Wait, Wait Wait, Matches, She Doesn’t Get It, Inches & Falling (which got a great response from the crowd) and Snails among many others. The sound was full and lush, vibrant and clear – just like on the CDs. Despite all the energy from their indie-pop tunes it was the stripped down acoustic songs that really stole the show. Of course, One Your Porchwas played and devoured feverishly by the crowd but they also played an un-released demo called Faith In Fast Cars which, if released on the band’s next record, will surely become a fan favorite. For their encore they took requests and ended up playing Oceans and Time-Bomb before leaving the stage for the night.

While the show wasn’t one of the better ones this year – a little too mellow for my taste – it was a rather enjoyable show throughout with some ups and some downs. The odd thing is though, while The Format probably put on the best show of the night, when I think about the night’s performances it will be Steel Train‘s set that really sticks out which is something I never thought I’d say.