Live Review: Dispatch – Forest Hills Stadium, NY

Last Saturday was a jam packed up beat and rocking concert at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, New York. Marco Benevento opened the night and set the mood for Guster, who set the energy level and warmed up the crowd even more for the headlining act Dispatch.

Highlights from Guster’s set included a sensational version of Happier from their third full length album Lost And Gone Forever, and later on the band raged into a powerful rendition of Demons from their seconds full length album Goldfly. The band finished their set with an unbelievable segue of classic songs starting with Satellite into Amsterdam, into Come Downstairs And Say Hello, and closing with Airport Song. Guster is always a fun and boisterous act to see and they remain one of the special live music acts to see.

Dispatch began their performance with a 5-song acoustic set. Fan favorite Flying Horses from their 1996 Debut Silent Steeples was the opening song. With a fast tempo, this song really engages the audience especially as the very first song because it leaves them wanting more when the song ends. The next song was Flag from their 2012 album Circles Around The Sun and it kept the energy at a great level. After this  they performed a truly memorable and rocking rendition of Only The Wild Ones – the latest single from their brand new album America, Location 12. This song gets its upbeat positivity from the unique chord/progression finger picking pattern played by Chad. The fourth in the acoustic set was another new song Rice Water from the latest album. This track gets its chilling energy from the mellow mood it gives off as well as the memorable hook in the chorus.

What other fitting way could Dispatch open up their electric set than with their stellar, rocking  number Open Up. This song segued nicely into Be Gone which paved the way for Windylike. A set highlight was the following two tracks Passerby into Beto. These two songs both started off soft and slow and as the beat picked up the music raged louder and everyone in the crowd was dancing. After Beto they played their hit The General which the audience took over the vocals towards the end of the song. Time Served was next, keeping the volume and attitude of the vibes as high as ever, as the bumping bass groove in this song served as the pulse for a masterpiece of a mid-set song selection.

Before the closing songs they performed Midnight Lorry – the last of the new batch of songs for the night and but surely was not least. This is probably the most memorable song on the album because of its catchy melodies and upbeat grooves. The closing three tracks of the end of the electric set consisted of Bats In The Belfry, Mission and Outloud all of which are Dispatch fan favorites and had the crowd singing along to every word. The end of the night was really special because they brought up Pete Francis (an original member of the band who is not touring with them this time around due to personal issues) to perform the classics Two Coins and Bang Bang. These two songs were extra special because fans got to hear the missing voice they wanted to hear all night long for just a snippet at the end of the night. Dispatch, along with Guster proved their strong rock presence in the music world last Saturday at Forest Hills Stadium.

Scott J. Herman