After two years of awful tour delays, Dispatch finally got back on the road for a summer tour with friends O.A.R and G. Love. This tour featured a stop in Bridgeport, CT at the new Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater, which might be one of the nicest outdoor venues I've been to on the east coast. It's been a few years since I've even been in the pit photographing live music, and this was definitely the welcome back to it that I was looking for.
Up first was Philly native, G. Love, playing a solo acoustic set singing, playing guitar, and harmonica. While it was a shorter four song set, his tunes set the stage for the night. And it'd be a shame to not mention his special guest, his kid, who came out to play harmonica too.
After G. Love, the first of the two headliners took the stage - O.A.R. The set started out with an introduction to some songs from their newest album, but quickly traversed their catalog going all the way back through their history. Midway through the set, they honored a fan request for their song Fire before settling into a couple of guest appearances from Stephen Kellogg and G. Love. However, due to time constraints, the set had a couple of songs cut off and ended with a truncated That Was a Crazy Game of Poker.
As the night powered on, it was time for the main event - Dispatch, a group I have covered more than any other artist. The last time I photographed a concert, in 2017, was covering them. Not wasting any time, they opened right in to their fan favorite, Out Loud. After that, it was a deep dive featuring classics such as Bang Bang, Open Up, Silent Steeples, Elias, and The General mixed with new hits Only The Wild Ones, Break Our Fall, and Beto. Not wanting to leave fans disappointed, their encore was a powerhouse collaboration with all the artists on stage for a cover of REM's It's The End of the World As We Know It and Dispatch's own Letter to Lady J.