Concert Review: Dispatch, Constitution Hall, October 11


Few things that I loved in the 1990s have stood the test of time. Slap bracelets? Gone. Ring pops? Rare. Nano-pets? No more. The notable exception to this trend: Dispatch. The band was awesome when I listened to them on my super cool discman, and they proved last night at Constitution Hall that they remain THE hardest-locking-liberally-educated-all-white-boy-jam-band around.

Their show began with a rousing set by the Parkington Sisters – four sisters (already a win) playing instruments ranging from the accordion to the guitar to the piano. Their look was a great combination of folksy-grungy-chic and outfits included cowboy boots, fishnet stockings, and jorts. The sisters delivered a lovely upbeat performance complete with beautiful four-part harmonies and big smiles. As someone totally unfamiliar with the quartet, I had trouble identifying individual songs as they were played, but I have been listening to their song “Cruel” repeatedly on YouTube since seeing them last night.

After Parkington Sisters came Good Old War, basically replacing four bluegrassy females with three equally folksy men. (Note, the name of this band comes from a combination of the members’ last names: Keith GOODwin, Tim ArnOLD and Daniel SchWARtz. Clever guys!) The trio also equaled the sisters in terms of being a crowd hit. The members fluctuated between playing drums, keyboard, and guitar and had a great presence throughout their songs. They joked with the audience, jumped around, and the guitarist in particular had some great jumping/wiggling moves. My favorite part of their set was probably their Raffi cover of “Daylight Come” but I would also recommend checking out their new album titled Come Back as Rain.

Lastly, Dispatch took the stage! So many things to say about this band. First, the boys are looking and feeling good. They’re all totally cuties and they totally own the stage when they’re up there. Constitution Hall, although a regular host to concerts, had major audio troubles, but Chad Urmston, Pete Heimbold, and Brad Corrigan didn’t blink an eye. Instead, they jammed on as best as possible, encouraging the crowd to sing to fill in the missing vocals because of the faulty microphones. They also diverted the crowd through sure-pleasers such as The Wave and inviting audience members on stage to rock out with them. Dispatch also did a phenomenal job balancing rhetoric with rock – they delivered brief and on-point commentary on the importance of education (shout out to their alma mater Middlebury!) and thanked teachers in the crowd by dedicating a song to them. They also complemented their music with an amazing lights show and invitations to the Parkington Sisters to rock out on stage with them. And I haven’t even said anything about their music. I mean, so good. I actually realized I like this band much more live than recorded. Songs such as Flying Horses and Carry You were my favorites live, although Two Coins and The General were also great. The band’s new songs from their most recent album, Circles Around the Sun, also got the crowd going – although the sing-along was a bit weaker on their new stuff. Dispatch also proved fame has not gone to their head: they delivered a rousing encore after an already 90 minute set, thanked the audience and audio support profusely (despite the many audio glitches) and generally left everyone in a great mood.

Posted on by halley in Concerts