Dispatch originated in the early 1990s as One Fell Swoop, but changed their name to Dispatch in 1996. Chad Urmston, Braddigan, and Pete (Francis) Heimbold, who were all attending Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont comprised the band’s lineup throughout their entire career. Their music drew upon several influences, such as acoustic folk-rock, reggae, and funk.
Dispatch gained much recognition outside of New England, without any help from a label, and stuck together long enough to release seven albums, three of which were live performances. During concerts, the band had been known to improvise upon their album releases, often resulting in a song ending in twice the length of the original. The group was also fond of switching instruments and vocal duties when playing live.
Upon the announcement of its break-up in 2002, the band scheduled one final concert. The free show was performed at the Hatch Shell in Boston on July 31, 2004. “The Last Dispatch,” as it was referred, is said to be the largest concert in independent music history; roughly 110,000 fans from over 20 different countries attended the show. Parts of the performance were released as a CD/DVD two-disc set later that year, entitled All Points Bulletin, along with an earlier show in Somerville, Massachusetts.