Saying Goodbye To The Tragically Hip
Tonight Vancouver will be saying goodbye to the band with one of the greatest names in all of rock-and-roll...The Tragically Hip.
I'll be saying my goodbyes from way down here in North Carolina, if I still lived in Vancouver I'd definitely be at the show tonight...it would have been my fourth or fifth Hip show.
My greatest memory of a Tragically Hip concert happened way back when I was in college and my friends and I drove down to one of their shows in Seattle. My friend was an editor for our college newspaper and she wanted to try and get some quotes from lead singer Gord Downie for her upcoming article on The Hip.
She managed to catch up to him after the show just as the band were entering their tour bus after their performance. She got one question...so she hurriedly asked Gord how he managed to come up with his eclectic and spontaneous energy on stage? He climbed the steps of the bus, turned around and said...'it's the power of the music, baby!'
And with that he was gone.
At the same show I reached up on stage after the concert and took the play list that was taped to the floor. I framed that play list, along with my friends college article and hung it on the wall in my room where it stayed for years.
But like most things, I grew out of The Hip and sold that play list on eBay years later. Of course after hearing the news Downie has terminal brain cancer and this might be the last Hip tour I wished I still had that play list.
But we never know what life will bring us.
Since hearing about his diagnosis I've been playing Hip songs at work and on my phone, saddened at what fate has brought Gord but grateful I witnessed his musical genius up close.
Friday night was the first night of the final tour and the last performance will be in Kingston, Ontario broadcast live across Canada on the CBC.
I'm not going to try and write anything profound or try to sound eloquent, I'm just going to say The Tragically Hip were part of my college years and will always remain part of Canada's musical fabric.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 24, 2016
Gord Downie is a true original who has been writing Canada’s soundtrack for more than 30 years. #Courage
My fave Hip song of all time and the song I enjoyed watching them play live the most is The Last of the Unplucked Gems.
Huge thanks to The Tragically Hip and to Gord Downie, I really enjoyed the power of your music, baby!