The Format reunion at Hello Merch (photo via (Kieran Thompson)

Before Nate Ruess formed the bombastic pop rock band fun., he fronted the indie rock band The Format, who released two albums, a couple EPs, and some other odds and ends in the early/mid 2000s that still hold up today. The Format sparked some excitement over possible reunion rumors when they posted teasers last month, but the teasers actually turned out to be for the first-ever vinyl release of their 2007 live film, Live at The Mayan. The vinyl is out today (with some various bundle options), and the band celebrated its release with a viewing party at Hello Merch in Phoenix last night (2/3).

As it turns out, last night's viewing party was also... a surprise acoustic show. Nate and fellow Format founder Sam Means joined forces to play a full set of Format songs for the intimate crowd (150 people), marking the first time the band performed in 12 years. And it looks like this reunion is gonna keep going. As AZ Central points out, they revealed during the performance that they're "gonna do three very small shows in three very small cities next month," and then revealed that those cities will be New York, Chicago, and Phoenix. Stay tuned for more info!

UPDATE: The NYC shows have been announced for March 20 & 21 at Bowery Ballroom. Tickets go on sale Friday (2/7) at noon with artist and Citi presales starting Wednesday (2/5) at noon. Stay tuned for info on the Chicago and Phoenix shows.


UPDATE: Chicago and Phoenix shows are announced, too.

As for what prompted the band to reunite, here's more stage banter via AZ Central:

"About a year ago, I was driving and I was listening on random, and 'Interventions' came on," he told the crowd, referring to the Format's debut album, which they "absolutely despised" at the time.

"And I was listening to it and I was like 'I should probably skip this,'" he continued. "And I listened and I thought, 'Holy (expletive), this kicks ass. This is totally rad."

He texted Means to say, "Dude, 'Interventions' is awesome."

Means replied, "I know."

Watch some videos from last night's acoustic reunion show, along with a newly-uploaded-to-YouTube video of The Format playing their classic/breakthrough song "The First Single" in the 2007 live film and a newly-uploaded-to-streaming-services stream of that album, below.

Nate Ruess also released a solo album in 2015, and has mostly been on the quiet side lately, but did recently lend some co-writing to the latest Halsey and Kesha albums (the latter of which he also sang backup on). Meanwhile, his fun. bandmate Jack Antonoff (also of Bleachers and formerly of Steel Train) has been very busy lately.

After The Format broke up, Sam Means formed Destry with Michelle DaRosa (Straylight Run), Shaun Cooper (Straylight Run, Taking Back Sunday), Tyler Odom (Northstar, Cassino), and Nico Childrey (Cassino). Shaun Cooper is now back in Taking Back Sunday and Destry remain active with Michelle DaRosa and Tyler Odom.

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