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The Format Sing, Dance in Chicago

“We’re going to have a good night of singing and dancing,” promised Nate Ruess, the Format’s lead singer, and he wasn’t just saying that. From the opening note of “Dog Problems” (the title track from the band’s recent sophomore release) to the last of “Inches and Falling,” the sold-out crowd sang along to the Format’s power pop at the top of their lungs, much to the Arizona band’s awe and appreciation. Considering the Format released Dog Problems independently, the energy of their Chicago reception far surpassed anyone’s expectations. “This is unbelievable,” Ruess said. “It’s without the help of radio, without the help of a major label. This is real.” Members of Anathallo, who opened the show along with Rainer Maria and Street to Nowhere, added horns and backing vocals to a few Format tunes. Whether the songs were old, like the slower “On Your Porch,” or new, like “The Compromise” (which inspired a dance party of its own), it was hard to tell whether it was the Format or their fans who were having more fun. STORY BY ERICA FUTTERMAN. PHOTOS BY KAREN CHAN

We asked: Given that the Format’s new single is called “The Compromise,” what’s the toughest compromise you’ve had to make? COMMENT