Music and Unity: A Concert for Charlottesville

Ray Petree III, staff writer

Unity Concert Picture

Photography by Yangchen Dema

John Lennon’s words, echoed by Stevie Wonder’s rich and powerful voice, reverberated through the crowd at Scotts Stadium: “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you will join us, and the world will be as one.” A message so powerful, that it ultimately encapsulated a night that finally brought closure to the recent events in Charlottesville.

In light of the events that transpired in Charlottesville on Aug. 11 and 12, the Dave Matthews Band hosted an event of epic proportions for their hometown, headlined by a cast of remarkable artists. Justin Timberlake, Ariana Grande, Pharrell, The Roots, Coldplay, Stevie Wonder, and countless other artists packed into a stadium of thousands to rejoice in a show of “music and unity” — which remained free for residents of the Charlottesville area, and members of the University of Virginia community.

Within the confines of the stadium, there certainly was an inimitable sense of excitement that filled the air, but it was matched by a melancholy that permeated throughout the crowd.

Because, for the citizens of Charlottesville, the concert was as much an opportunity to see their favorite artists as it was a night of healing and reflection. A reality that became incredibly evident when Dave Matthews invited the mother of Heather Heyer, Susan Bro, on stage to bring light to social justice and the issues that mattered to her late daughter. “By finding inspiration and strength in my daughter’s courage, we keep alive something that made Heather so precious,” said Bro during the interlude.

In the end, the concert culminated in a surprise appearance by musical legend Stevie Wonder, who began his performance with John Lennon’s masterpiece “Imagine.” That performance, and all of the power and emotion that it conveyed, truly captured the essence of the night.

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Posted by on Oct 10 2017. Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Events, From the Forum, Local News, Music, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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