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Dispatch at Madison Square Garden: What Does a Three-Piece Jam Band Do Behind the Scenes?

July 16, 2007 6:48 PM ET

Over the weekend, scores of suburban teens donned their finest Abercrombie and Hollister duds and headed to Madison Square Garden to catch the newly reunited pseudo-jam-band Dispatch, who now hold the record as the first independent band in history to sell out the 20,000-capacity venue. (To put this in perspective: tickets are still available for the White Stripes' gig next week at the same place.) The Boston three piece, reunited for the first time since 2004, got back together a good cause -- all proceeds from the shows will benefit Zimbabwe, which is ravaged by AIDS, poverty and social injustice.

On Friday, Dispatch played a three-hour set of crowd favorites, including the sing-along anthem "The General" and the relaxed white-boy reggae tune "Ride A Tear." But the highlights came when they performed a three-song minit set atop their first touring van in the middle of the Garden as well as the chorus of Zimbabwean kids who joined the band for "Outloud." While the guys in Dispatch aren't necessarily virtuoso musicians, Friday's show was a triumphant celebration of youth in all its promiscuous, stoned, boozed-up glory. On Saturday, we caught up with the band after they finished up their soundcheck to ask them about their pre-show rituals -- and how their friends reacted to the news that Dispatch had sold out the Garden.

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