The Tragically Hip, Kingston 2016-08-20

Well, that’s that.

My lovely wife and I sat here and streamed the Tragically Hip’s final show on the CBC’s free broadcast. It was a rollercoaster, it was a blast, it was love.

Sure, Gord mucked up a couple of times, and sure, there were sound issues, and the camera was looking for cute girls in the crowd when it should have been on the stage for big moments. Gord even took a moment to rant politically and endorse our Prime Minister, which I could’ve maybe left out but, hey, it was a Hip concert. Warts and all.

And what a show! Three encores. My word. Have a look at the setlist, and then I’ll continue:


Fifty-Mission Cap
Courage (for Hugh MacLennan)
Wheat Kings
At the Hundredth Meridian
In a World Possessed by the Human Mind
What Blue
Tired as Fuck

Intermission (Thunder storm visuals & effects) 

My Music at Work
Lake Fever
Toronto #4
Putting Down
Twist My Arm
Three Pistols
Fiddler’s Green
Little Bones (Extended outro)
The Last of the Unplucked Gems (Extended intro without Gord Downie)

Something On

Encore 1:

New Orleans Is Sinking
Boots or Hearts
Blow at High Dough

Encore 2:

Nautical Disaster
Grace, Too

Encore 3:

Locked in the Trunk of a Car
Gift Shop
Ahead by a Century


Truly, a beautiful set. A highlight for me was Fiddler’s Green. I used to sing that for my son when he was a baby, to get him to sleep. It felt like home.

So now we have to look at our lives (potentially) going forward without more Hip music. It’s a weird thought. All of the build up has led to this, a moment we knew was coming but didn’t quite grasp as real. They’ve always been there. The decades of solid records, stellar shows, and just being true gentlemen artists as we all know they’ve been. Their legacy is intact. Indelible.

Thank you, Tragically Hip. I’m still listening.

You’ve shown us the way. Now we live it for ourselves.

26 thoughts on “The Tragically Hip, Kingston 2016-08-20

  1. deKE says:

    Nice wrap up with things dude! I wouldn’t even know how to review this show unless I had been there and even that would have been a stretch!
    That 5 pack of Road Apples was so awesome…….
    With all the focus on Gord how about a round of shout outs for the boys beside him! Baker was on fire especially on Three Pistols!
    Loved how Fay played that kit with one cymbal holy heck!
    Crack My Spine Like A Neck!


    1. mikeladano says:

      I was watching Fay’s use of different sticks and mallets. Really a very creative drummer! And watching Sinclair sway in time with the tune…Bobby Baker slick as always…Langois right up front singing and smiling at Gord…just one hell of a show!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. keepsmealive says:

        Fay’s a damn metronome, man. What a drummer! An idol of mine. The whole band was nailing it. I thought Langois looked a little like he was gonna cry, at several points in the night. But they held it together.

        What a band.


    2. keepsmealive says:

      Thanks Deke. I didn’t go too deep or anything, just wanted to slap up something to acknowledge the night.

      So many great songs. Three frickin’ encores! Wow. The whole band was playing well (do they ever not? 🙂 ) I did notice a few times where Gordie maybe looked a little unsteady and the boys were right there to help him. Fay held him up on the last walk off the stage. I saw Baker watching him close whenever he missed lyrics even with the teleprompter.

      They totally had his back.

      AND they played wonderfully. I did notice Baker’s guitar wasn’t loud enough several times, and what was that wonky sound thing like they were playing in a big tin can, at one point there? They got it fixed quickly, but it was weird!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sarca says:

    I have company staying with us this week, and none were Hip fans, so I wasn’t able to watch the concert live. I have it PVR’d so I’ll watch it sometime this week.


            1. mikeladano says:

              You know what, that’s also just live music. Honestly maybe I was just optimistic but I kept saying, “If you didn’t tell me, I wouldn’t know there was anything wrong with the guy.” He was skinny, perhaps skinnier than “normal”, but he’s always been lean.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. mikeladano says:

              One of the ladies at our work, who had never heard the Hip before, watched some of the concert. She was greatly concerned on Monday for Gord’s health. “Does he always…move like that? Is that how…he normally sings?”

              Liked by 1 person

  3. Heff says:

    Great concert. Fabulous set list. The band was spot on. Gord….he was his usual flamboyant Gord. They will be missed.


  4. J. says:

    Glad to read that this was everything you coulda hoped for (minus the bits you coulda done without). I was thinking about all you Hip folks yesterday …


    1. keepsmealive says:

      It was great (because it was Hip). As for what I might’ve left out, well, Gordie can’t help it – he was using telepromters heavily all night and forgetting lyrics is likely just a symptom of his condition – we haven’t received many reports as to the current status of his terminal brain cancer. Anyway, we appreciate the thoughts. It’s hard to describe just how huge tonight was, what it means for Canada. We all hope Gord carries on, even creates new things, but we know the prognosis is grim and it’s just a waiting game. So tonight was catharsis and hope and love and release and the best wishes of a nation (and beyond).

      And that’s the power of the Tragically Hip. They are us. We are them. It’s in the blood.


      1. J. says:

        If read that treatment had been going as well as they could hope (incurable, but prevented from progressing), but can’t remember where I read that (or when). It’s grim, but there’s a lot of positive vibes, and an outpouring of love and togetherness from a nation of folks and beyond. Really quite special. Anyhoo, here’s hoping he’s around for a while yet … and even if not touring, he’s able to produce music. Turning a sucky situation into positivity and such.


        1. keepsmealive says:

          Yeah, all I’ve ever read is that they’re doing their best (and I wanna believe he’ll have the best possible care at Sunnybrook in Toronto) but prognosis is never good long-term with this type of cancer.

          You said it, with the love, man. The whole nation (and beyond) is behind him and his family 1000%.

          I hope he does keep doing something, writing more poetry, or recording a few songs even without more touring. But if he stayed with his family and focussed on his health going forward, and let this last record and tour stand as legacy, we’d all completely understand and support him anyway. We’ve had decades of greatness. Now it’s Gord Time. It’s up to him.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. keepsmealive says:

      Thanks. Heh, I just stole the setlist from another site (I’m lazy). But I knew that if I didn’t say something straight away, if I slept on it, I would be paralyzed in the morning and unable to write anything about it. Better for me to go from the gut straight away.


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