Dispatch returns after hiatus for three nights at Red Rocks

:: Dispatch ::
:: Red Rocks Amphitheatre :: June 3 - 5 ::

By Fallon Anderson


It takes something profound to change a life, something unexpected and evolved. To me, anyway, never before has music so fully encompassed understanding, compassion, and movement so encouraging, so self-altering as it is with Dispatch.

The three men who make up this Vermont-based band take their audience to a place that has no ceiling, with a floor cemented in lyrical protest and devout dedication to change; a floor that raises one to stand taller than ever before.

Dispatch takes the conformity of traditional tunes and rings it dry of all things standard. Injecting every word with pride and commitment to its meaning, Chad Urmston, Pete Heimbold and Brad “Braddigan” Corrigan give those willing to listen a chance to stand for something.

A Colorado native, Corrigan recently opened up to The Marquee via telephone. Everything coming from Corrigan’s end of the line reflected life’s wonderful reality, a reality that many Coloradan fans have long awaited — the triumphant return of the band with a three-night Red Rocks run.

“We always have talked about playing Red Rocks,” Corrigan said. “We knew years ago we were going to [someday]do Red Rocks, that was our dream.”

Not alone in dreaming to play the revered venue, Dispatch fans will also flock from all over the world to support the tour-opening bliss held here at home. “It’s great that I get to step up there as the local boy and look out over this family of fans that have been so gracious with us,” said Corrigan. He went on, clearly mystified by such an opportunity, “[Red Rocks] has always been a magical and secret place.”

‘Magical’ and ‘secret?’ Words definitive of Dispatch itself.

For the last four years, fans worldwide have been Dispatch-less. Dispatch disbanded nearly a lifetime ago, and all that was left were the recordings to get by. The band was active from 1996 to 2002, and officially offered a “farewell” concert in Boston in 2004, that had more than 100,000 fans in attendance.

Music that at one time had been exactly what they wanted to say, exactly what they wanted people to feel, became a distant memory. There were no new thoughts, no new projects with Dispatch as a whole.

2007 saw the trio reunite for a string of benefit concerts for Zimbabwe at Madison Square Garden, and they performed an acoustic show in Washington, D.C. in 2009 (another benefit for Zimbabwe).

But then, earlier this year, as quickly as it had all ended, it began again.

In November of last year, the band’s website began a countdown to 2011 with the words “Dispatch 2011.” Then, later in the month, the band tweeted a QR code that pointed to Morrison, Colorado on Google maps. The QR codes for other cities began popping up, and finally on New Year’s Day the band announced a full reunion tour, that will start at Red Rocks. 2011 indeed marks something amazing, the reuniting of three men that have made more difference in their communities and nationwide than many acts have even dreamed of. And now they’re back to do it again.

“It feels like we’re back to being family and back at home, so to speak, but everything’s a little different in that it’s just totally free,” Corrigan said. “There’s a spirit of freedom and joy over everything that we’re doing, so it’s the easiest thing you could imagine. Nobody’s trying for this, nobody needs it. We’re just really ready to enjoy the ride.”

With a new six-track EP released in May, Dispatch is back in a big way. “The songs represent the new energy and the new freedom in Dispatch,” said Corrigan. With thoughts circulating around the idea of a new full-length album to be recorded this fall, it doesn’t sound like Dispatch will be dispatched any time soon.

Planning to record and film every concert of this summer’s tour, Dispatch is leaving the experience open-ended. “We’re going to capture everything because there’s no harm in that,” Corrigan said. “My guess is that something beautiful is going to come out of it.” His guess is as good as any.

Following in the style of 2007’s three-night sell-out of MSG, this tour will be benefiting charity, as well. This year, Dispatch will support Amplifying Education, a group dedicated to improving school systems throughout the country. Among other things, improvements will include funding new teachers, providing books and supplies, and bettering facilities. One dollar of every ticket will be donated to the organization, and New York’s Terminal 5 show will be a 100 percent benefit. Denver will be one of two cities that will hold a public forum, aiming to support grassroots awareness. Colorado State Senator Michael Johnston will be present at the forum, backing Dispatch’s cause.

For Dispatch fans everywhere, it’s been a long time coming. The built up energy of a ten year hiatus is about to engulf Red Rocks. And it is much deserved — that feeling of higher presence, the feeling of togetherness, of compassion — that feeling of standing for something that’s bigger than any one of us, that feeling of having meaning. And Brad Corrigan seems to agree, confessing, “Our fans will be able to feel it.”

:: Dispatch ::

:: Red Rocks Amphitheatre :: June 3 – 5 ::


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