Countless music goers rushed the gates of the Riviera Theatre Tuesday and Wednesday night for Dispatch’s second trip to Chicago after the trio broke up back in 2004.
Dispatch has been referred to as the biggest band that no one has ever heard of. Music goers that enjoy the music of the Boston trio possessed a deep, burning passion for the melodic tunes that the band created. Consisted of Brad Corrigan, Chad Urmston and Pete Francis Heimbold, their first studio album was released in 1996 shortly after the members all graduated college. From there, the band continued to progress and went on to release three more albums before taking a break from the game in 2004.
The band decided to perform a reunion show in the winter of 2007 titled “Dispatch Zimbabwe.” Proceeds from this show benefited charities in Zimbabwe to help fight poverty, famine and social injustice in Africa. In the fall of 2010, Dispatch hinted at their definite return on the band’s website. Last August, the band released newly recorded music brought for the first time in twelve years. The fall tour would expose the precision of their newest album, “Circles Around the Sun.”
Enthused fans packed the uptown theater to the brim as the audience looked like sardines tightly crammed and anxiously waiting for the band to storm on stage. A unique energy filled the room while fans rushed to find beverages before becoming parked in the perfect spot for the show. Shoulder to shoulder, whispers of excitement and possible opening songs poured from onlookers.
With a dark shadow cast over the instruments on stage, fans practically jumped from their spots in hopes of catching a glimpse of the talented group. At last, the band emerged from the darkness and graced the audience with a warm welcome. It didn’t take long for the first chords from guitarist Chad Urmston’s guitar to be heard from wall to wall across the venue. Instantly, a shock wave of emotion poured from the hearts of everyone on the floor.
The first night was highlighted by a stellar performance of the band’s most popular tune, “The General.” The lyrics echoed from the rafters as fans joined the members of Dispatch in singing every word of the song. New and old hits littered the band’s final few songs on stage. Smiles occupied every face that passed through the doors and out onto the city streets. Night number one was finished and fans could hardly wait to see how the band would amaze their ears the next night.
As night number two came, an even larger amount of fans crowded the Riviera Theatre for what the music lovers hoped would be another stand out performance. Immediately, the threesome got the crowd pumped up with the choice of opening their closing night in Chicago with a fan favorite, “Bats in the Belfry.” Audience members turned to each other and belted the words almost becoming hoarse from the enthusiasm. This was only the beginning as the band carefully maneuvered their way through an upbeat and energetic set list.
Each song aroused increasing amounts of joy throughout the screaming crowd. From the floor to the balcony, wall to wall, the entire venue sang as one while Dispatch crafted together some of the most dynamic performances of some of their most respected songs. Leading the charge was percussionist Brad Corrigan who accompanied his smooth drum skills with an angelic voice.
A wide variety of songs from each of the band’s studio albums appeared on the set list for the audience to enjoy. Old classics such as “Passerby” and “Bang Bang” were precisely placed around new hits such as “Feels So Good” and “Josephine.” Music continued to roar and before the audience could believe it, the time had come for one last song. After an extended introduction, Chad, Brad and Pete burst into a powerful performance of the song “Mission.” A sudden roar bolted across the floor while fans could now be assured to walk home happy.
Nothing but kind words and admiration filled the sentences of pleased supporters. Among the people in attendance, Scott Dever, co-founder of the charitable organization Love Light & Melody, had nothing but praise for the three musicians.
“These guys always provide so much energy and you can tell they’re doing what they love. It’s always a pleasure to see passion like that being displayed on stage,” said Denver.