Dave Matthews Brings Words of Hope to the World
Legendary alternative/indie rocker Dave Matthews performed a solo acoustic set from his Seattle home on Thursday night, March 26, that provided music lovers of the Dave Matthews Band a brief respite from the day-to-day heartbreaking news concerning the coronavirus pandemic.
Matthews was the first artist to perform on Pay It Forward, a new series that is streamed live and sponsored by Verizon. The series will feature a variety of notable names from music, gaming, comedy, and more who are providing support for small business in America that have been affected by COVID-19.
While the nation has been consumed with the fallout of the pandemic that has required many Americans to remain indoors and concerts and music festivals cancelled for the foreseeable future, it was Matthews’ performance that gave those many who have lost their jobs a chance to sit back and listen to the music that has been a part of their lives since the band was first formed in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 1991.
The 58-minute performance took place in a small room above his garage according to Matthews. The South African-born singer opened up his songbook and delighted well over 1.8 million worldwide viewers who caught the live streamed performance. This concert was just what everyone needed. The response and outpouring of support by fans who saw the concert and shared screen shots all over social media proved that the world wants to put this tragic moment behind them, even for just an hour. In between songs, Matthews shared stories about his son, family and friends and provided words of encouragement for those who have been hit hardest by the coronavirus. Matthews shared the joy that his visits to local small businesses bring him. From his favorite Seattle bar, Al’s Tavern, to his local coffee shop, it is Matthews who stresses the importance of supporting the small business during these difficult times. Clearly his compassion shone for the small business and the effects that the forced closures are having on them. He went on to say that you can support those businesses by buying goods and services in advance that would keep funds coming in while the businesses remain closed. Matthews continued, “These are crazy times. Stay home, stay away from me, and have fun.”
He opened with “So Damn Lucky” and worked his way through “Mercy,” all through the set switching his guitars while tuning them before each song. Next up was 1994 hit “Dancing Nancies,” followed by “Virginia in The Rain” and “Grey Street” and closing out his set with “Don’t Drink the Water.”
It’s Matthews whose laid-back persona continues to draw record crowds to his concerts annually. His devout followers known as “Daveheads” continue to support the band and are his most dedicated fans. While we don’t know how long the pandemic will last or how it will ultimately affect Americans, we do know that listening to Matthews performing tonight gave many a glimpse of hope, a moment to smile and share love during this most uncertain time that has affected millions of Americans. We all hope that things will soon return to normal. Stay strong.