Dispatch to Play Bryce Jordan Center August 28

Dispatch plays a farewell concert at the Hatch Shell in Boston, July 31, 2004.

If you’re a fan of celebrated indie rockers Dispatch, Penn State has got one heck of a back to school present for you: the band will be continuing their comeback tour and bring their unique style to the Bryce Jordan Center on August 28, the Sunday after classes begin.

From 1996 to 2002, Dispatch revolutionized the independent music scene, making waves that resonated far beyond their native Vermont. A jam band at their roots, and one with a strong commitment to idiosyncrasy, Dispatch encouraged listeners to share and download their songs, which helped spread their appeal nationally. Even this spring, after announcing a comeback tour, Dispatch made all four of their studio albums free for download to anyone who signed on to their mailing list.

Dispatch initially broke up in 2002, but held a farewell concert in 2004 in Boston. Over 110,000 came that night, which was captured on the album All Points Bulletin, to see off the band, foreshadowing the success Dispatch would have in later reunion concerts. In 2007, the band held a benefit concert for Zimbabwe at Madison Square Garden, which sold out so quickly that they had to add a second date. In doing so, they became the first independent band to sell out the venue, and at the time, they hadn’t released a studio album in over seven years.

Visiting Penn State is nothing new for at least two-thirds of the band; Pete Francis visited Penn State in April 2010, just days before Chad Urmston played Last Stop with his newest project, State Radio. But Dispatch hadn’t toured as a whole—those two, plus Brad Corrigan—for over 10 years before announcing a series of reunion concerts this summer, which started last week in Colorado, and will hit New York and New Jersey this weekend. They’ve already sold out dates in Boston, New York, and Los Angeles, and reviews from the earlier dates have been encouraging–they’ve still got it.

In addition to their solo dates, the band has also jumped aboard the Dave Matthews Band caravan, joining the title group, as well as bands like O.A.R. and The Roots, in a pair of weekend-long festivals. Dispatch also released an EP last month, one that hit #42 on the Billboard charts, and #2 on iTunes’ most downloaded. They even appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, to promote it. This latest tour has been in support of education programs in the United States, with a portion of ticket sales going to benefit that cause.

It’s hard to imagine many college students who aren’t familiar with Dispatch’s music, but for the unenlightened, the group dabbles in virtually every genre imaginable—from folk to reggae, ska to hip hop, and hard rock to funk. The band first gained prominence on the backs of college students more than a decade ago, but their popularity hasn’t waned with a newer generation. In a time when so much of popular music is derivative, mindless, and devoid of musical talent, Dispatch has always been a shining beacon that talented musicianship can still be appreciated by today’s youth.

Tickets for the show at the Bryce Jordan Center, which will begin at 7 p.m., go on sale June 24. If tickets are purchased through the BJC ticket office, there will be no service charge. Additional ticket information will be released as soon as it becomes available to Onward State.

Update 11:20 a.m.: The Jordan Center has released more information about ticket sales for this fall’s concert. Tickets for the Dispatch concert at Penn State are priced at $40.75 apiece for the general public. The first 2,500 tickets for students will be only $20, and then there will be a limited quantity of additional tickets available for University Park students for $30.75 apiece.

Update 6/24: You can get tickets beginning TODAY at noon at the Bryce Jordan Center, Eisenhower Auditorium, Penn State Theatre, by phone at 814-865-5555 and online at or Information courtesy of the BJC website.

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About the Author

Devon Edwards

Devon is a 2012 Penn State graduate and current law student at NYU. Devon joined Onward State in January of 2011, after a lengthy stay in the comment section. His likes include sabermetrics, squirrels, and longs walks on the beach, and his dislikes include spelunking, when you put your clothes in the dryer and they come out still kinda damp but also warm, and the religious right.

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