Little-Known Dispatch Sells Out The Garden
The last time Dispatch stood in front of thousands of concertgoers was three years ago at a free farewell concert in Boston. But the jam-friendly trio obviously hasn't lost its live following since thThe last time Dispatch stood in front of thousands of concertgoers was three years ago at a free farewell concert in Boston. But the jam-friendly trio obviously hasn't lost its live following since throwing in the towel.
After announcing earlier this month that it would reunite to help raise money for humanitarian efforts in Zimbabwe, Dispatch quickly sold out two summer gigs at New York's Madison Square Garden through exclusive presales on its MySpace.com page. Because of overwhelming demand, the trio added a third night, which goes on sale to the public on Jan. 20. The "Dispatch: Zimbabwe" concerts are scheduled for July 13-15.
"It seemed like if we got Dispatch back together, we could raise some real money," group member Chad Urmston tells Billboard.com. "We agreed to do it only if it was going to be a 100% benefit."
Urmston, who briefly lived in Zimbabwe after high school, says the band will take the next six months to decide which specific organizations it will donate the proceeds to, which could include a visit to the African country.
"It's not a story you hear about every day on the news," he explains, "So we're excited to bring it into the limelight a little bit and hopefully raise enough money to help a country that's on the brink of mass starvation." In addition, a small portion of the concert earnings will be dispersed to various domestic causes that each band member has supported over the years.
Dispatch's history dates back to the mid-'90s, when college buddies Urmston, Brad Corrigan and Pete Francis self-released their first album, "Silent Steeples," on Bomber Records. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the band's hest-selling album is 2001's "Gut the Van," which has moved 128,000 units in the United States. But it wasn't until the 2004 live CD/DVD "All Points Bulletin" that Dispatch debuted on The Billboard 200.
During its eight-year existence, Dispatch released six albums and built a solid fanbase through crisscrossing the United States and selling out such venues as New York's Roseland Ballroom, San Francisco's Fillmore and Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club. The advent of Napster helped spread the word, which the band didn't mind one bit. "It was good for us," Urmston says. "Whatever we lost in CD sales, we gained way more in the listenership overall."
The trio officially broke up in 2001 after deciding to pursue different musical avenues, according to Urmston, who now fronts Boston-based State Radio. Asked if more shows will be scheduled or if any recording could transpire, he says, "No, this is all that's on the docket right now. Brad, Pete and I all have new projects and everyone is pretty busy ... I think this is good for now."