Last night I watched a truly Canadian event. The Canadian band, The Tragically Hip, performed their last ever live concert in their hometown at Kingston’s Rogers K-Rock Centre. As most Canadians and fans of “The Hip” know the lead singer, Gord Downie, was diagnosed with incurable brain cancer. The demand for concert tickets for the final tour was high and sold out within minutes. Public outcry was met with relief from another Canadian Icon- CBC.
CBC broadcast it to all of Canada commercial-free: on television, radio and their digital mediums. The show ran for nearly three hours. This is a first to my knowledge in Canadian history. The show was viewed in bars, restaurants and homes throughout our great country.
Most Canadians took a break from the Olympics and their busy lives to watch the show. Even our Prime Minister was in attendance at the show. It doesn’t get much more patriotic than that.
It surpassed viewership to another favorite Canadian Event: Stanley Cup Playoffs.
I was never the biggest fan of “The Hip” but like many Canadians, a couple of albums were among my collection. In 1992, I had on repeat “At the Hundredth Meridian” from the album Fully Completely until I learned all of the lyrics. I remember owning it on CD, and my sister owning it on cassette because I never shared my music with her. It is my favorite “Hip” song.
I found out watching this show that I knew more “Hip” songs than I realized. By the end of the concert, I was singing along.
Watching them perform their final gig was heartfelt and tearful knowing it would never happen again.
Much respect to the courage it took the band and the lead singer to do one final tour. The Tragically Hip gave Canada some amazing music and beautiful lyrics.
“No dress rehearsal, this is our life.”