Author: Nathan Haimowitz
Dispatch are back on tour in support of their 2018 album Location 13 this Thursday, November 29th at The Sylvee. The album was released officially earlier this past summer in July with the deluxe version coming out just a few weeks ago in November.
Dispatch were in Madison last December at the Barrymore Theatre touring their previous album America, Location 12, a record that the band has now spoken of as being a sibling to their newest release. Unlike that record, however, Location 13 was released one song at a time and has been noted by the band to be “a bit darker and a little heavier,” according to a recent interview with Guitar World.
The band has found tremendous success since forming as a jam band in 1996 at Middlebury College. Hits like “The General,” “Bang Bang,” and “Only the Wild Ones,” have paved the way to Dispatch holding a firm grasp in both indie rock and folk circles and have led to some recognition, most notably going viral in Napster’s early days.
Yet, being “the biggest band nobody’s ever heard of,” as drummer Brad Corrigan has called the group, has carried the perk of being able to experiment with their style regularly. Upon reflection, Dispatch called their past two records (both released after a five-year hiatus) more cohesive than past writing and recording efforts.
This tour is a special one for the band as they are returning to their roots and performing a fully acoustic tour. Additionally, the band has held an intimate pre-show reception before each show on the tour thus far and will hold one on Thursday as well at 5:00 to 7:00 at the High Noon Saloon for fans to come early and congregate.
Dispatch has always been a very politically conscious band and this tour has proved no exception. The album itself covers topics like police brutality and the lack of accountability found in cases of racial inequity and wrongful profiling of African Americans. Dispatch makes a point of engaging with their audiences to raise awareness over issues such as mental health, immigration, or sexual harassment.
The band views their decision to include politically charged songs in their sets as having a rallying effect on their crowds. On this tour specifically, Dispatch have organized sexual harassment bystander training before each of their shows with the staff and volunteer workers at the show’s venue.
Dispatch will continue its legacy of breathtaking performances in Madison on Thursday at The Sylvee. Doors open at 6:30. Opener Raye Zaragoza takes to the stage at 8:00 and Dispatch opens at 9:00.