Considering The Format’s Dog Problems is firmly planted within my top 5 of all time, it seems like an obvious choice to go with the live version of the title track on their And Now I Hope You’re Alright – Live in California EP. It’s not a simple rendition of the track, though. It includes the trademark, excellent vocals from Nate Ruess (this guy really loses nothing live), but it’s also chock full of the varied instrumentation that makes the studio version so powerful. The slowly incorporated backing vocals are gold, as is the middle section of the track; you know, the emotionally heartbreaking “Can you hear me/Are you listening?”
The real highlight comes in the conclusion, though, as Ruess spells out “Becca,” with the “A” being taken over by a flurry of band members. And the final horn blast caps off the track quite nicely.