TVD Live Shots: Dispatch and O.A.R. at Xfinity Center, 8/20

MANSFIELD, MA | Boston-based Dispatch teamed up with O.A.R. to co-headline a roots rock party jam that had the audience dancing all night. More than halfway through their Summer Tour 2022, both bands are in a groove and continue to bring lots of energy as their trek continues south along the east coast.

Live concerts have been integral to the success of both Dispatch and O.A.R. and have shaped the identity of each band. Notable live album releases Gut the Van by Dispatch and Any Time Now by O.A.R. have helped propel both groups into notoriety and mainstream success.

Dispatch’s second studio album Bang Bang was recorded at Lake West Recording Studio in West Greenwich, Rhode Island. Engineer/producer Jack Gauthier was asked by TVD if he got the sense these tracks would work so well being played live. “At the time… not really. You never really know until it’s tested live for a while, but I knew they were catchy vocal hooks and rhythms.”

Some studio tracks instantly give the impression that they will be great live—like O.A.R. ‘s “That Was a Crazy Game of Poker” which they closed their set with as decks of playing cards rained down on the audience. Other songs like Dispatch’s “The General” have taken on a life of their own when played live compared to the studio version – becoming a crowd favorite anthem.

O.A.R. and Dispatch have separately sold out Madison Square Garden multiple times so playing to a large amphitheater is nothing new. In 2004, Dispatch drew over 100,000 fans to a free show at the Hatch Shell in Boston with what was thought to be their last concert. Since this infamous night, seeing a Dispatch show has always felt special because you never knew if it would happen again.

After seeing these acts live, it is apparent that the band’s love for their music and their fan’s love for their music is what drives them to continue touring and releasing new tracks. Dispatch’s Brad Corrigan recently shared, “We’re grateful to still have our family of fans, health, friendships and a chance to continue making music.”

Another aspect that is part of the identity of both bands is their charitable endeavors. Throughout their rise, both bands have taken every opportunity to use their success for good, launching charitable organizations to fight poverty and mass incarceration, raising funds and awareness for environmental causes, schools and hospitals on the road, and even traveling as far afield as Nicaragua and Zimbabwe to work with children and communities in need.

O.A.R.’s Heard the World Foundation raises money to create education-based opportunities, including music therapy programs in hospitals, scholarships, donating computers to schools and even providing an infrastructure in Flint, MI, to help with the ongoing water crisis. Dispatch’s Chadwick Stokes’ Calling All Crows joins bands and fans together in collective activism that has raised more than half a million dollars, while Corrigan’s Love Light + Melody helps amplify the stories of children who live in extreme poverty.

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