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The Boston Globe

Music

Music Review

Dispatch and Guster: two alternatives on one stage

MANSFIELD — There are enough similarities between Guster and Dispatch that it’s hard to believe the two bands had not shared a local stage before Saturday when they teamed at the Comcast Center.

Though Guster started five years earlier than Dispatch did, both bands sprang from college-coffeehouse culture — the former at Tufts and latter at Middlebury — and built national audiences from a Boston base. Both bands feature three main men; both began as acoustic folk-pop outfits that now brandish a fuller sound and auxiliary musicians; both are social activists, touting educational, environmental, and equality projects.

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