Last Night’s Dave Matthews Live Stream Is The Most Hopeful I’ve Felt In Awhile

Dave Matthews / Verizon

I can’t hear the word “hope” without hearing the immortal words of Red and Andy Dufresne in Shawshank Redemption ricochet around in my brain.

You know the quote.

“Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.” – Red

“Hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of good thing. And no good thing ever dies.” – Andy 

Hopefully you just read that in their voice.

Dark days call for hope. Some sort of spirited resilience that there’s a light – as dim as it may be in the moment – somewhere at the end of the tunnel. It gives a reason to get up in the morning, knowing that a page will be turned; that eventually there will be an escape from a gloomy reality.

Hope doesn’t burst in a room like the Kool-Aid Man; it rarely parades around with bashing cymbals.

Hope doesn’t make a show.

Hope enters gently and makes itself comfortable.

It just arrives, takes off its jacket, and hangs out.

Maybe even stay for a while.

I consider myself an optimist, perhaps to a fault. I really do.

But boy, I haven’t felt hopeful in quite sometime.

We’ve all seen the news – It’s bleak out there.

You can spend sunup to sundown and then some filled with anxiety, fear, and uncertainty.

I certainly have.

This fear, however, is a very different kind of thought-trap. It’s calculated. It’s truly life and death. It’s unlike anything humanity has ever experienced.

It’s embracing one’s sense of duty against an invisible threat, but not really knowing what’s next. It not the same kind of existential dread as, say, a case of the Sunday Scaries or a dreaded meeting with a boss.

Those are micro-anxieties compared to this. It’s such a confusing time for everyone. The scale is ginormous. It’s hard to not let all these heavy emotions gnaw away at all that makes one human, given the somber reality of the situation.

For us big-hearted softies, music is hope.

Fortunately, music doesn’t need a six feet radius to give someone a hug.

Given all the uncertainty in the world, evening music livestreams during quarantine have become a new type of digital fireside chat. They’re a chance to take a break from the news for a while, sit down to freshly prepared grilled cheese dinner, and use all those connected devices at our fingertips to immerse into a shared world that brings a certain kind of hope:

The world of music, shepherded by our favorite artists.

Live streams are our comfort blanket; the warm hoodie from another era of your life that you’ll never let go, yet miraculously still fit into.

In a short two weeks, live streaming concerts has become a way to make social distancing feel not so distant. The other night, via Facetime, my mom said she was live-streaming her favorite Broadway shows. Others nerd out to Post Malone on Twitch or Margo Price’s Tiny Desk concert or Phish offering a “Dinner and Movie” watch party of an old show.

Boy, these live streams are important right now.

They’re a chance to experience an event as a group – a cathartic inhale and exhale. It’s a ritualistic moment in the day to connect with our friends, family, and community about something – anything – other than refreshing Twitter in fear or anger about the day-to-day.

And out of that performative moment comes hope.

And hope breeds resilience.

And all of those ingredients mixed together make the great gumbo of the human spirit, which will get us through this damned thing at the end of the day.

Technology, of course, certainly helps. Of all the times to be holed up in quarantined over the many millennia, it’s a silver lining for it to happen to us at a moment of history when the world’s as connected as it’s ever been.

Call it the best of what’s around.

Last night, Dave Matthews linked up with Verizon to spread a little light from “the room above his garage.” In an intimate live stream, Matthews hosted a 50-minute solo show, streamed on Twitter as part of Verizon’s very first “Pay It Forward Live” series.

It’s worth a watch if you missed the Dave Matthews live stream.

It’s a captivating and beautiful performance from a performer we grew up with and really cherish around here.

As part of the series, Verizon will support the Local Initiatives Support Corporation and its efforts to help small businesses during an unprecedented crisis. via Verizon:

LISC will use the funds to provide grants of up to $10,000 to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of COVID-19, especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises that don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital in historically underserved communities. LISC will launch an online process for small businesses to submit applications for grants. Applications will be reviewed and then entered into a lottery. The grants are designed to help business owners fill urgent financial gaps – from paying rent to meeting payroll – until they can resume normal operations or other financing becomes available.

Verizon is also giving its own customers an easy way to support small businesses by leveraging their customer loyalty program, Verizon Up, which will give members the ability to use their monthly reward for a Visa eGift card to use to support small businesses throughout the month of April.

Thursday’s stream was truly an old-school Evening With Dave, with a mix of hopeful acoustic classics like Dancing Nancies, Grey Street, and Don’t Drink The Water, along with plenty of anecdotes that have peppered his solo shows since the Live at Luther days.

For those of us who grew up lionizing Dave and his music like myself, the #PayItForward stream was soothing music equivalent of slipping into your favorite pair of sweats for the evening.

In classic BroBible fashion, let’s wax nostalgic to the days of ultimate frisbee with college friends before heading back to the apartment to chill with Before These Crowded Streets on in the background.

Throw on your frayed, white college hat from the ’90s and get comfortable for a while.

Thanks, Dave, for leaving me feeling the most hopeful I’ve felt in awhile.

A few highlights from the Dave Matthews livestream.

Thanks to @Wombat_Matt for capturing a handful of clutch moments. 

On paying it forward…

NEW SONG – “Singing From The Windows”


DMB bassist Stefan Lessard joining in to jam along on Twitter…


“Sweet” – The Ukulele song

The three plumbers story about supporting local businesses. 

Shout out to the wizard plumber!

“Grey Street”


“Virginia in the Rain”


“Don’t Drink The Water”

Stay home. Stay healthy. Be good to each other. Wash your hands.

We’re all in this together.

Brandon Wenerd is the publisher of Follow him on Twitter

Brandon Wenerd avatar
BroBible's publisher and a founding partner, circa 2009. Brandon is based in Los Angeles, where he oversees BroBible's partnership team and other business development activities. He still loves to write and create content, including subjects related to internet culture, food, live music, Phish, the Grateful Dead, Philly sports, and adventures of all kinds. Email: