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Rediscovering Dispatch

Perhaps someone didn’t tell Dispatch, but the band split up with a celebrated farewell concert in Boston in 2004.

Perhaps someone didn’t tell Dispatch, but the band split up with a celebrated farewell concert in Boston in 2004. That little detail didn’t stop the groove rockers from playing three sold-out Zimbabwe aid benefit concerts at Madison Square Garden in 2007. And it hasn’t stopped the trio from announcing a summer tour that will take them through Denver, Chicago, the Bay Area, New Jersey, Atlanta and Boston this year.

“I guess we’ve taken these long, extended breaks,” agrees bassist Pete Heimbold, “but we still get together and talk and say, ‘Hey, let’s do a show.’”

It really is that casual and stress-free in the land of Dispatch — nowadays at least. The reason for the “breakup,” however, was sheer burnout. The band formed in Vermont in the mid ’90s, and after releasing their fourth album — 2000’s “Who Are We Living For?” — major labels came sniffing and the pressure put them over the edge. After the packed-to-the-gills farewell concert (captured for posterity on the live video “The Last Dispatch”), the three members scattered to their home states and pursued other musical projects. Denver-based drummer Brad Corrigan formed his band Braddigan, Manhattan-based Heimbold took up as an acoustic singer-songwriter under the name Pete Francis, and guitarist Chad Stokes, living in Boston, formed State Radio.

Though this tour adds a side agenda — education awareness in America — the reasons for doing it are selfish. “Chad and I talked about playing some venues that we’ve always wanted to play. Kind of dream venues.”

Other hot tickets

The Rhythm of Rajasthan
Friday, 8 p.m.
First Church in Cambridge Congregational
11 Garden St., Cambridge
www.worldmusic.org
This band plays Kalbelia music — a style named for an ancient tribe of snake-handlers and venom traffickers — and the music has a hypnotic quality, as if you’re the snake they’re trying to charm. The band includes a dancer in a way reminiscent of flamenco. You’ll swear you never realized how exciting one chord can be!

Joshua Bell
Feb. 4, Symphony Hall
301 Mass. Ave., Boston
www.celebrityseries.org
The violin virtuoso first gained international attention when he was a prodigious 14, and two decades later he’s still virtuosic (even if he’s no longer 14, and even if no one recognizes him when he poses as a busker for hidden-camera experiments).


 
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