Recently, Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater was treated to a double bill from Nahko and Medicine for the People and Dispatch. The two groups are environmentally conscious activists that moonlight as headlining folk/reggae-leaning musicians who have performed internationally for years and accumulated a loyal and well-traveled fanbase.
After a mind-altering set filled with love energy and good vibes from Nahko and his tribe, ominous thunderheads in the distance tried to cut the night short as the venue staff asked everyone to evacuate–leaving everyone to question whether Dispatch would even be able to perform. Those of us who returned after a lengthy weather delay energized Dispatch to pull out all the stops and melt all the faces.
Their set was an inclusive mix of new and old music such as “Bang Bang” from their sophomore studio effort and OG radio hit “The General.” With an acoustic trio of songs to close out their set, “Uncle John’s Band” was sandwiched in between their latest radio hit “Only the Wild Ones” and “Elias.” The 11:00 p.m. curfew had come and gone during the last song; at 11:05 p.m. drummer Brad Corrigan came out like Santa Claus at Christmas to announce granted gift of ten more minutes, just enough time for a quick three-song encore. Dispatch invited Nahko and opener Raye Zaragoza back to the stage for a blissful cover of The Beatles “Don’t Let Me Down” and closed out with “Letter to Lady J”: “How long’s it been since you went outside? How long’s it been since you opened your eyes?” Dispatch may be moving more into the political realm with their latest recorded works but prove they still know how to jam with the best.
[This coverage was provided by Eo8’s own jam band aficionado Rich Harley.]