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Live Review: Dispatch @ Boston, MA’s Agganis Arena (10/06)

Bands: Dispatch, Good Old War
Location: Boston, Massachusetts’s Agganis Arena
Date: October 6, 2012
All pictures by Avery Fiftal for Lost In The Sound

About 12 hours before the doors of the concert even opened, the three members of the Boston-based band Dispatch began work on their national service project at the Boston Arts Academy with about 200 other volunteers. Amplifying Education is a campaign started by Dispatch to support local organizations and improve the education of children across the United States. On the same day most shows, the band will get together with over a hundred fan volunteers and try to make a big difference in the lives of children across the country. I went near the end of the event to check it out and help out. Near the end of the event, I noticed two friends waiting to get more paint. They were simply looking around and were amazed at the work that they did in only a couple hours. As the event came to a close, it was clear to see that the hours of hard work in the school created bonds between people that met that same day. Some people came to just help and see the band, as they could not make the concert the same night. You can watch a video of Dispatch playing “The General” with students at the Boston Arts Academy during the event.

Good Old War opened for Dispatch at the Agganis Arena in Boston to promote their new album that came out earlier this year, Come Back as Rain. For the majority of the audience, it was just enjoyable music to listen to as they bought their drinks and snacks and sat down. The crowd had fans of all ages. As diverse as the people there were, there was not a short amount of fans of Good Old War. “Coney Island” was met with applause and cheer while parts of the crowd sang along. As the opening show ended, the stadium gradually became  full as everybody found their seats waiting anxiously for Dispatch.

As soon as Dispatch came on stage, everybody in the stadium stood up as they opened with “Time Served”. The crowd was energetic and almost everybody stayed standing the entire show. When some of the unfamiliar, new songs from Circles Around the Sun appeared, a number of people would sit down. However, all of the songs that were written before their long hiatus were met with liveliness from the entire crowd. The crowd knew all the live versions of every old song they had such as the repeating chant of “go now you are forgiven” in “The General” or the amazing build-up and introduction of “Flying Horses”. Throughout the show, the three main members of Dispatch had other people join them on stage, but as they ended with “Elias” there only remained Chad, Brad and Pete. It was amazing to see thousands of people sing along to such a powerful song that was made 16 years ago for their debut album, Silent Steeples.

There were fans of all ages at the show and it was awesome to see so many different kinds of people singing along to songs by a band I never thought would get back together. Dispatch knew how to have fun and entertain the crowd while still remaining musically adept. This is the first time I’ve ever been to a Dispatch show and before I have always heard stories of how great the energy of the crowd was. Going to the concert solidified my opinion of Dispatch being a great band that can have so much fun at a concert and having one of the best fan bases that a band can have.


  1. Time Served
  2. Bats in the Belfry
  3. Circles Around the Sun
  4. Here We Go
  5. Sign of the Times
  6. Bang Bang
  7. Lightning
  8. Feels So Good
  9. Flag
  10. Outloud
  11. Beto
  12. Two Coins
  13. Flying Horses
  14. Josaphine (with Good Old War)
  15. Melon Bend
  16. Passerby
  17. The General
  18. Open Up
  1. Get Ready Boy
  2. Mother and Child Reunion (Paul Simon cover)
  3. Elias

Listen: Dispatch – “Circles Around The Sun”

Dispatch frontman Chad Urmston took to the band’s Facebook page to explain the story behind “Circles Around The Sun”, the band’s first single from their upcoming album of the same name. Circles Around The Sun, out August 21st, will be Dispatch’s first official studio album in over twelve years. Below, you can listen to the song and read Chad’s explanation.

“‘Circles Around The Sun’ is the legend of our friend Larry Perry, who passed away this past year. In the early 1960s the space race had captured America. Looking to outdo the Soviets without putting their necks on the line, NASA, in an unprecedented, controversial move, took a very disabled young man away from his family to ready him for space flight. Both the USSR and USA had sent dogs and chimps into space, but the USA wanted more. Larry cannot walk or speak but was in perfect health and, more importantly, in the eyes of the government, expendable. Unbeknownst to them, from a very young age, Larry had always been an adrenaline junkie and the scientists and government officials were actually fulfilling the biggest adventure he could ever dream – to be launched into space. To everyone’s surprise, Larry returns from space triumphant and smiling.” – Chad

Stream Chadwick Stokes’s ‘Simmerkane II’

Simmerkane II, the first solo release of Dispatch usual-lead-singer and State Radio frontman Chadwick Stokes, hit stores yesterday via Ruff Shod/Nettwerk Records. One of my most anticipated releases of the year, the album is a collection of Chad’s memories and experiences while hopping freight trains across North America and features Carly Simon, Blake Hazard of The Submarines, Matt Embree of RX BanditsThe White Buffalo, and Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars.

This album will not disappoint fans of Chad’s past work, staying true to his folky-rock, Americana roots. You can listen for yourself below, courtesy of Nettwerk Records. You can also check out Chad’s solo tour dates for the fall, giving the singer-songwriter some time off following recent tours with both State Radio and Dispatch. For those of you unfamiliar with his discography, both Dispatch and State Radio are well-known for their live jam sessions, improvising and soloing throughout; Chad’s solo show should be no different and should definitely be checked out.

Chadwick Stokes Announces Solo Album

Chad Stokes Urmston of indie-rock acts Dispatch and State Radio will be releasing his first solo record this summer, choosing to use the moniker Chadwick Stokes. His new album, titled Simmerkane II, will be released on June 28th via Ruff Shod/Nettwerk Records. The deluxe version of the album includes two discs, including a second disc consisting of three tracks recorded with Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, a band formed by Sierra Leone refugees who were displaced to Guinea during the Sierra Leone Civil War.

Once he rounds up a two-month long tour with State Radio, Stokes will be embarking on the Dispatch reunion tour during the month of June and then beginning a solo tour in support of Simmerkane II. You can check out the tracklisting for the album after the break.


Disc 1
1. Adelaide
2. Crowbar Hotel
3. Back To The Races
4. Rainsong
5. Insulin
6. Religion On The Rails (I Saw You There)
7. Black Bottle
8. Ichabod and Abraham
9. I Love Your Army
10. Spider And Gioma

Disc 2 (Deluxe) (with Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars):
1. Coffee And Wine
2. All My Possessions (Ode To Troy)
3. Don’t Have You

Free State Radio Live Album; Chad Announces Solo Record

Boston indie rock band State Radio just completed their State Of Troy Tour and as a thank you to fans, are giving away a new live album. The live recording is from the band’s performance at the Boston Pavilion. You can download the seventeen-track live album for free here.

The band also announced that frontman Chadwick Stokes (also widely known for his time with Dispatch) will be releasing a solo record later this year. Details have yet to be revealed.

Dispatch Announce Reunion Tour For 2011

Dispatch will be reuniting for the first time in almost a decade, embarking next summer for a six-leg tour. Fan pre-sale tickets will be available starting January 21st, with the general on-sale to follow on January 28th. A portion of all ticket proceeds will go towards education programs in local communities. If that’s not enough, the band is offering all four of their full-lengths for free digital download. Go here for more information and check out the tour dates after the break.

Dispatch 2011 Tour Dates:
06/04 – Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks
06/08 – Chicago, IL @ Millennium Park
06/11 – Berkley, CA @ Greek Theare
06/18 – Harrison, NJ @ Red Bull Arena
06/21 – Atlanta, GA @ Chastain Park
06/25 – Boston, MA @ TD Garden

Chad and Friends Finale With Braddigan

Chad Urmston of State Radio is currently wrapping up the Chad & Friends Tour with a final show in Boston on Friday at House of Blues, where Brad Corrigan (another former member of Dispatch!) and Erin Coughlin will be joining Chad.

Purchase tickets here.