By Sara Spangler, Contributor, DC Music Live
Within a span of two weeks in October, Chad Stokes played two separate shows in the DC area with each of his bands, Dispatch and State Radio. The first of these shows was Dispatch, who have recently reunited after nearly a decade of being on hiatus. Playing to a nearly sold-out crowd at DAR Constitution Hall, Dispatch played several crowd favorites including “Carry You”, “Flying Horses”, “The General” and closed out the show with “Elias.” The show also featured songs from their newest full-length album, “Circles Around the Sun.”
In true jam band fashion, members Chad Stokes, Brad Corrigan and Pete Francis played virtually nonstop, while switching instruments every few songs. Though sounding a bit loose musically in spots, the group made up for it in stage presence and crowd interaction. At one point in the show the PA stopped working, causing all of the vocals to be completely inaudible to the audience. However, the crowd didn’t miss a beat in jumping in and singing along to the lyrics when the PA wasn’t functioning.
Following along with a recent trend among bands, Dispatch is offering their fans a free MP3 download of any live show they attend,
redeemable by entering in the barcode on their ticket stub on the band’s website. Dispatch offers all live show recordings of their current tour for purchase on their website, www.dispatchmusic.com.
Just two weeks after the Dispatch show, Chad Stokes returned to the DC area with his other band, State Radio. Band members Chuck Fay and Mike Najarian, along with special guest Matt Embree of RX Bandits joined Stokes at Rams Head Live, along with an energetic crowd. State Radio features slightly harder rock tunes than Dispatch, and the crowd reflected this, even starting a mosh pit at one point in the show.
The band is known for their humanitarian efforts, and spearheaded Calling All Crows, a nonprofit organization that raises money and organizes events to address issues such as hunger, gender equality, education and the environment. Many of State Radio’s songs focus on certain issues affecting specific people or regions of the world, and use their music as a platform to bring people together in order to make a difference.