We were living in Montreal when this record came out. So one day we get a supper-time phone call from our buddy George, he says “Dude, do you like that band, the Tragically Hip?” Of course, I told him. Why? “Well, there’s a ticker scrolling at the bottom of the Global news just now, says they’re playing at Theatre St-Denis in… an hour.” What?! There’d been no posters, no advance notice that I’d seen that this show was occurring. I filled with energy… we had to go! My wife (then girlfriend) and I made great time getting there. We literally ran across downtown Montreal, basically from Atwater to the venue (for those of you who know the city, it was a good jaunt that still took over half an hour on hurrying feet), and made it there to find no lineups, just a few photo-copied posters on the glass notice boards. We wondered if we’d found the right place. The box office confirmed the show, and sold us 15th row, center seats. I was elated! We were gonna see the Hip! Just like that! My wife had never seen them before, so she was also quite excited.
There was an opening band, but memory fails me… God Street One? Something like that? I’m vague on this one… Feel free to comment if you’ve found this and know this bit of trivia… Anyway. I remember liking them, if that helps. Our seats were great, just far enough back to be able to take in the whole spectacle but close enough to feel the rush right in front of us. For a warm-up show prior to a tour, this was not a Hip rusty with the working of the songs. They were a well-oiled machine, slamming through track after fantastic track, once again displaying total professionalism and intimate connection to the music. Gordie danced and leaned and sang his heart out. The guitars wailed and chugged and never stopped surprising, the bass gave the whole thing girth and heft, and those drums, oh those drums so metronomic and solid… Woo! They played two encores and seemed to be having a blast. There were no kinks to work out. They’d hit the stage ready. Fucking fantastic!
I kept this set list, too:
Theatre St-Denis, Montreal 2000-06-20
Tiger The Lion
Music @ Work
Escape Is At Hand For The Travellin’ Man
Ahead by A Century
At The Hundredth Meridian
Save The Planet
I will always remember that night, a chance opportunity to see my boys. I loved it. A really, really great show.