Dispatch to headline Madison Square Garden, stop by Westbury

Photo: Courtesy of Dispatch Facebook page
Photo: Courtesy of Dispatch Facebook page

In 2015, there are not a lot of bands that can rightfully headline Madison Square Garden. Taking this a step further, there are not many bands that can not only sell out Madison Square Garden, but also add on a second show “due to overwhelming demand.” As a result, Dispatch holds their own with July 10th and 11th gigs at MSG – both of which are benefit shows – in addition to an intimate June 30th show at The Space at Westbury as part of the Lexus Pop-Up Concert Series presented by Pandora.

Beyond the popularity and the charitable nature of Dispatch, what also sets them apart from other popular bands is that their sound cannot be pigeonholed. Stylistically, there are elements of reggae, flamenco, funk, ska, folk, rock, and hip-hop all woven into an acoustic sound. While there is a “Dispatch sound,” the band was never reliant on hit singles or music videos for the building of its unique and loyal fanbase.

Vocalist and guitarist Brad Corrigan – who also records solo albums under the Braddigan moniker – took some time to answer questions about what lies ahead for Dispatch. In short, fans should be expecting more music and plenty more charitable endeavors from the trio.

What do you wish more people knew about Dispatch?

Dispatch’s Brad Corrigan: What Chad’s dreadlocks smelled like after we jumped in a lake. How many times Pete has made us laugh until we can’t breathe improving songs on the tour bus (“Community Living” & “Junk Bunk”). What it was like when I drove Wimpy away from a gas station with the hose still stuck in the gas tank. That we all want to be in Christopher Guest’s next movie. Or that our album “Bang Bang” was almost a tribute to Wes Anderson’s first and BEST film “Bottle Rocket.” We also may or may not have accidentally hijacked an antique amphibious military watercraft the size of a semi late one night after a show and crashed it into a shed somewhere on the East Coast… AND that the only thing we can point to with our being in a band for almost 20 years is the relentless pursuit of a dream because all our friends and family believed in us and pushed us…

For the rare person that hasn’t heard your band before, how do you describe the sound of Dispatch?

B: Simple. We are a tri-vocal funk-coustic instrument swap groove machine…

Dispatch is known to be one of most charity-oriented bands of today. Was this the plan from the beginning, or did this evolve from achieving success and wanting to give back?

B: We’ve never had a plan. Just have been super-grateful that we’ve always had whatever we’ve needed in life, we were born into families, zip codes, and individual stories where we had heaps of support and encouragement, and that we were never short on friends, teachers, or coaches spurring us on to figure out and follow our dreams… And then along the way we’ve encountered lots of difficult stories and have all made friends that have made us realize we’re some of the luckiest and most blessed out there. That there are tons of folks who aren’t as fortunate as we are, and that we have a stage for a much greater purpose than just making noise. So getting to use our music to help shine a light on issues or hopeful stories that are important to us, and to get to share that with our super-loyal and generous fan-base, well, that’s just about as good as it gets…

Having played Madison Square Garden a few times, what is it that keeps you coming back to that venue as opposed to, say, Red Bulls Arena or even something in Vermont?

B: It’s MSG, come on! Historic!!! Walking down the MSG Hall Of Fame to the stage while the crowd is shaking the walls is just SLOW-MO surreal dream time. Above and beyond…

When you’re not playing with Dispatch, given that Dispatch only seems to do a dozen or so shows per year, what do you like to do with yourself?

B: Sleep is good. We like playing with our dogs. Chad and Pete have beautiful families with little kiddos. I’m still trying to get barreled surfing and am looking for Mrs. C (laughs). And we all have full-time commitments to solo projects and non-profits that we’ve founded.

If anything, what would it take for Dispatch to become a more active or semi-full-time band again?

B: A new album to put us back out there! And that just might be in the works, yeeeeaaaaaaaa… Plus we’re playing a lot more shows internationally than we used to, so there’s some jet-laggage that we’re still trying to figure out. Maybe we need an Acai Bowl sponsor, or to go on tour with the U.S. Men’s Soccer team…

So are there more recordings in the works from Dispatch?

B: Umm, yea. Can’t wait for everyone to hear “Bound By Love,” a new song we recorded in Australia a few months ago. Should be dropping SOOOOOON! And otherwise we have heaps of new songs that we’re trimming up before we cut some serious WAX.

Finally, any last words for the kids?

B: Find your dream and get after it.

-by Darren Paltrowitz