This isn’t the end. At least that’s what I kept telling myself as I got ready for my first stop on The Tragically Hip’s farewell tour in London, ON. As the band took the stage and began to play Opiated, the entire crowd went absolutely wild (I know people say that a lot but this time I’m not exaggerating). With the loveable Gord Downie fronting the band in his shiny suit designed by a Canadian, there was a feeling of overwhelming patriotism through out Bud Gardens. They topped this off with three old hits: Blow at High Dough, Boots or Hearts and New Orleans is Sinking then went into their latest single In a World Posessed by the Human Mind. Not a tush touched the seats.
The Hip played through a fantastic two hour set, coming out for two encores to screens of Canadian imagery and more. My favourite was during a brief…intermission we’ll call it but actually I think it was time to give the band a rest and for Gordie to have an epic costume change into an equally shiny suit. At this time, the screen played footage of an Ontario (I assume Kawawrtha or Muskoka) lake running through a storm and into a calm, pink morning…showcasing again why The Hip are the most epic of Canadians.
What an amazing first of the last performances to catch.Like that of so many others, my heart aches to know that it will all be gone soon but we’ll always have the music.