Date: Friday, February 7th 2014
Line Up: Dispatch & Morning Fatty
Venue: University of Florida Flavet Field Bandshell
Friday night Dispatch made their long awaited Florida debut, playing to a few thousand University of Florida students and fans from around the state at the university’s bandshell. The Pier was fortunate to get out to the event and catch their impressive set!
Several times a year, the Student Government Productions delivers a well-balanced variety of entertainment to the University of Florida. SGP aims to meet the diverse tastes of members of the community bringing prominent musical acts of various genres to the campus. In the past 10 years, acts such as Pepper, Less Than Jake, Citizen Cope, Kid Cudi, Common, Childish Gambino, Mac Miller, and a notably huge show from Slightly Stoopid and G. Love. Unfortunately, the police cut off Stoopid’s set mid-way through, as an unplanned 15-20,000 person crowd was simply un-manageable. Over the past couple years the area of this performance venue has been completely redone, with a rebuilt band shell and infrastructure designed for better safety.
Billed as a free show, with a headliner that attracts fans of multiple genres and ages, the amount in attendance may have been a bit less than expected. The weather was not ideal for an outdoor show, as a passing cold front not only dropped the temperature, but brought in low level clouds and misty precipitation. But, just after 7:00pm, as the field’s stadium lighting faded off, and the amps turned on, the atmosphere finally started to dissipate.
Gainesville’s own Morning Fatty opened the show, playing a tight 45 minutes, fusing together jams of Funk, Reggae and Rock. The band played a selection of original tracks and vicious rock jam interludes linking song into song. Fatty also included several Reggae-tinged covers, cool renditions of the “Pink Panther’ and the set closing cover of The Beatles “Hey Jude”.
After a 30-minute switch, Dispatch was ready to take the stage. Starting out in the early 1990’s when three students, Brad Corrigan, Chad Stokes and Pete Francis joined together to jam in college, Dispatch is now known as one of the biggest independent rock band in history. The trio traversed the music industry, growing underground popularity with no support from a major label. Through their grassroots movement, the band became one of the largest live touring bands before disbanding in 2004.
During their 9-year hiatus, the band only reunited twice, in 2007 for a three-night benefit concert at Madison Square Garden, and 2009’s all-acoustic Kennedy Center set. In 2011 the band regrouped to tour again, and in 2012, Dispatch released the band’s first full-length studio album in 12 years, Circles Around the Sun, as well as its first-ever European tour, and an appearance at Bonnaroo.
After a history that spans the past two decades, Dispatch played their first ever show in the state of Florida. Just after 8:15pm, the music playing on the sound system cut as Dispatch walked out on stage. With Brad Corrigan on drums, Chad Stokes on guitar and Pete Francis on bass, the trio opened up with the aptly named track, “Open Up” off 2000’s full length Who Are We Living For? The band played two more tracks before drummer, and multi-instrumentalist, Brad Corrigan came down from the drum set to play guitar.
Dispatch has unique & versatile instrumentation in their live set. Not only does Corriagn switch off between the kit and his axe, Stokes and Francis periodically switch off between guitar and bass. In addition to the trio, Dispatch has 2 auxiliary touring members, who add in on many tracks playing guitar, drums, keyboard and even a banjo.
Dispatch jammed out to their new record Circles Around the Sun as well as performing some of the classic Dispatch songs, beloved from the past. Of course hits such as “Bang Bang”, Two Coins, and the set ender, “The General,” were highlights of the set. However, the members of Dispatch effortlessly took the crowd on a ride during their 90-minute set, mixing up the pacing of the tracks, bringing the crowd up and down. The band included slower, more moving songs such as “Josaphine”, songs with reggae rhythms to bounce around to, and plenty of high-energy tracks with solid rock riffs.
In all, Dispatch played 17 excellent songs, though the best moment of the night had to be when the guys stopped the show to bring out a special guest. Earlier that afternoon, in the catering tent, the members of Dispatch ran into an older gentleman, named Magoo. After hearing his story and a song he had written as a teen, that night Dispatch invited Magoo to come out on stage to sing that original folk. As Magoo took the mic and quietly started to sing, the band joined in on guitar, banjo, and back-up vocals. They went through the song, and even repeated the short verses to make a complete song. It was a moving moment, as it was easy to see Magoo’s enjoyment, singing his song on stage was something Magoo wanted to do all his life.
Overall, Dispatch played an amazing set! Mixing Rock, a bit of Reggae, Americana, and folk, the band’s blend was hard not to move along with. The sound was well balanced, and the stage lights timed perfectly with the music. All-in-all, a combination that completely surpassed expectation. A truly fun and entertaining set.
Morning Fatty Set List
2.) Shade Man
4.) Nature Groove
7.) Stink Panther
8.) Police Navidad
9.) Hey Jude
Dispatch Set List
1.) Open Up
2.) Here We Go
3.) Timed Served
6.) Bang Bang
8.) Two Coins
11.) Out load
12.) (Broken American)
13.) Flying Horses
15) Get Ready Boy
*as listed on stage