Four Years, Three Concerts, and Three Encores Later

After the encore, Chad came tearing through the crowd, his messy blond curls in complete disarray, and his green band T-shirt soaked in sweat from the electrifying show he'd just put on.

Although I've never been lucky enough to see one of my favorite bands -- "Dispatch":http://www.dispatchmusic.com/ -- live in concert, one of the band's original members, Chad Urmston, joined up with two different men in 2004 to form an incredible new group called "State Radio":http://www.stateradio.com/.

I can remember the first time I ever listened to Dispatch, in high school at my best friend Sam's house. I fell in love with the style, sound, and groove of their tracks. Although Chad has purposely tried to keep Dispatch's style separate from State Radio's out of respect for their differences, I can't help but love both bands equally for what he has contributed to them.

Sam invited me to go to Dispatch's final show in 2004 in Boston, but unfortunately I couldn't make it, and I missed out big time. I was so disappointed. Who knew when I would ever get another chance to see Chad rock out?

That chance came for me in 2006 when I discovered State Radio, and they were scheduled to make a tour stop 45 minutes from my house.

I'd bought every album the band had released by that point, and I was incredibly excited for the upcoming show. The concert was everything I had hoped for; the band sounded great live, and definitely knew how to put on a good show. Chad played and sang his heart out along with the other two members, Mad-Dog (on drums) and Chuck Faye (on bass). I left the show with my ears ringing, heart pounding, and couldn't wait to see them play again.

The next time I saw State Radio was in February 2007, and I was lucky enough to see them at a small venue again -- this time, at Bowdoin College in Maine. Once again, they put on an incredible concert, and left the crowd begging for more.

But in February 2008, at their concert in State College, PA, I got a completely unexpected surprise. After the encore, Chad came tearing through the crowd, his messy blond curls in complete disarray, and his green band T-shirt soaked in sweat from the electrifying show he'd just put on. He yelled that he was headed to the T-shirt table to sign autographs, which was something I had yet to see him do after a show.

I scrounged in my pockets for a scrap of paper, and found my concert ticket. When it was my turn to meet him, I did my best to contain my extreme excitement. I told him how much I respected him as an artist and political activist, and that I truly love his music. He gave me a huge smile, shook my hand, and thanked me for being such a devoted fan. Then he signed his classic messy signature on my ticket and said he hoped to see me at another show soon.

I nearly peed my pants.

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