Dispatched with startling aplomb

Dispatch’s first performance in Denmark is hopefully one of many to come. Their endless energy, charisma and love for playing with each other resulted in a two-hour humorous rock/reggae extravaganza showcasing some of the best Dispatch music of their past 18-year career. Hailed as “the largest band that nobody knows”, Dispatch are an independent rock/reggae trio who are well-known in their home country of the US. But in Denmark they maintain a refreshing sense of anonymity that they used to their advantage during their marvellous performance at Lille Vega. Dispatch have played to audiences of over 100,000 in their home-base of Boston and performed three consecutive sold out nights in arguably the most famous venue in the world: Madison Square Garden. Yet in Denmark, they played for less than 500 people, and this intimacy was reflected in their humble disposition and relaxed attitude on stage. 

South African quartet Kongos were invited along as support. After Kongos delivered a commendable set of a very original blend of psychedelic rock reminiscent of The Doors infused with sun-drenched reggae, Lille Vega was set to receive the night’s main guests.

As the curtains revealed the stage, the relatively small crowd cheered their hearts out for the trio. Opening with the folksy ‘Bats in the Belfry’, Dispatch were warmly received. Following the opener, ‘Here We Go’ brought Dispatch’s take on rap music, combined with a bluesy rock guitar delivered seamlessly by Chad Urmston. 

With no true lead vocalist, all three members of Dispatch contribute equally to songwriting, singing and instrumentation. This regulation of focus produces some  gorgeous symphonic singing, which was proven on the groovy reggae tune ‘Passerby’. One of the early highlights was ‘Time Served’, an invigorating rock/reggae concoction that got the audience properly involved. As a treat for the veteran fans, a selection of some of the band’s earlier unrefined numbers were performed. The most well-received was ‘Out Loud’, in which the audience became involved in one of the many call and response sessions of the night. The main set was concluded by ‘The General’, a thematic song that implicitly deals with the horrors of war, and culminated with a lengthy jam and a final chorus that the crowd sang with happiness. 

The encore brought the three members together for an acoustic session showcasing some of Brad Corrigan’s virtuoso djembe skills, and a very well received finalé in the form of ‘Elias’, a song written in dedication to the people of Zimbabwe. 

Dispatch were on fire; the endless jam fusions were never tedious and their choice of songs suited both newer and older fans. All in all, Dispatch’s performance was a nearly perfect introduction to Danish soil.


January 28
Lille Vega