Last night, a nation’s heart broke, was mended and bruised. As a country we cried, we sang our hearts out and we watched in awe and heart ache as Canada’s most beloved musicians took the stage for the last time. From our living rooms, the dock, by the bonfire, at the stadium and out in our backyards, Canadians (and other citizens of the world) came together to celebrate the band that has defined our sound, our poetry and our identity for decades.
My boyfriend and I were among the lucky few people who made it into last night’s show in Kingston. We had headed up to Kingston without any tickets and a whole lot of determination. After a full day of checking Stub Hub constantly, cursing scalpers who were asking $1500 per ticket and wishing for a last minute ticket drop from the box office, we found ourselves at 8:25pm completely ticketless and miserable (although the fact that we had eaten a top notch charcuterie board did soften the blow slightly). Enter stage left, a gentleman (or a damn angel in my opinion) who asked us if we needed tickets. Thinking he was a scalper and expecting that he’d want over a grand for one ticket, we asked how much. To our amazement, he came back with a totally reasonable request- he wasn’t a scalper! WE WERE IN.
We spent the first half of the show pinching ourselves that we managed to get a seat as the Hip started strong and finished the same way. Fans could not have asked for a better set list. The show started strong with 50 Mission Cap, Courage and Wheat Kings- a song that up until this point on the tour had been saved for encores only. A quick break after eight songs brought Gord and the boys back for another amazing set of songs featuring my favourite performance of the night- Three Pistols. I’m There was no looking back as the Hip came back for three encores…We’re in unchartered waters now” said Gord to the crowd “Let’s see what happens.”
Half the spirit of last night’s show was of course, the crowd. I’ve never been at a show more powerful in crowd enjoyment. Tears, laughter and thousands of people all singing at once made the show all the more special. A huge Canadian flag passed across the audience and a banner that read “Thank you Prime Minister Downie”. As a crowd, the journey with Gord and the rest of the Tragically Hip was an amazingly magical one. Gord Downie is such a national treasure and for that, Canada cannot thank him enough.
A massive thank you goes out to the kind man who we bought tickets off. We can’t express our appreciation enough. You let us say goodbye to one of our favourite and beloved musicians.