The Tragically Hip sing Canada one final time

To paraphrase a line from the Tragically Hip’s song “Scared”, Gord Downie made me scared during The Hip’s last performance

To paraphrase a line from the Tragically Hip’s song “Scared”, Gord Downie made me scared during The Hip’s last performance on the evening of Saturday August 20.

I was scared that I’ll never again see the emotion, the physicality and the distinctly Canadian music of the Tragically Hip live ever again. After Gord and the band announced he had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer back in May and that they were planning one final tour to honour their lead singer I was scared to even address the loss it would be to this country.

I didn’t want to accept that we are losing Gord, as millions of families across Canada feel everyday when facing the onslaught of cancer on their loved ones. However, over the course of a three and a half hour show and three encores Gord gave Canada the courage to face it together with him.

After seeing Gord jive, shake and sing on five other occasions I didn’t think the concert was going to offer anything outside the usual, other than the melancholy of it being his final performance. I was immediately corrected by Gord as he came out with energy, soul and raw emotion that I have never seen from a band who was already known for those attributes.

I found myself wishing the concert would never end and that the 11 million other Canadians and myself could stay in that moment with Gord as he wove his tales of Bobby Orr, Paul Henderson, the CBC, David Milgaard and the Great Plains.

Gord even took the time to use his last concert to try to correct a wrong in society with the way Canada has treated their First Nation’s communities.

And then, during the song “Grace Too”, Gord broke down and dropped his mic in tears. The cameras panned to Canadians filling the venue in Gord’shometown of Kingston where thousands of people were crying. I was crying. Canada was crying.

He didn’t want to leave the stage all night. No one wanted him to leave. That time with Gord that Canada shared with him was on par with Paul Henderson’s winning goal in 1972. It was the culmination of nearly 30 years of Canadian myth making which no artist will ever achieve again in this country.

Gord spoke to all of us and made us feel like one united Canadian people, on this night and every single moment that a Hip song has ever been played on stage, the radio or around a fireplace by the one guy there who knew the chords to “Scared”, “Courage”, “Ahead by a Century”, “Wheat Kings” or any other song that for some reason only a Canadian would know and vehemently defend.

Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip allowed us to reach out to each other, rather close off and he gave an entire country a reason to have “Courage”when he and the rest of us just wanted to sob uncontrollably.

Gord Downie is Kingston, Ontario, he is the CBC, he is the Great Plains, he is Paul Henderson’s goal and he is everything that makes this country the wonderful place it can and will be.

Thank you for the memories and the courage Gord.

reporter@sylvanlakenews.com

 

Just Posted

PHOTO: Sylvan Lake business hosts free breakfast for Westerner Days

CWC Energy Services hosted a free pancake breakfast Thursday morning

Community mourns the deaths of two Maskwacis toddlers

Siblings found drowned on family’s property

Water Balance in the Sylvan Lake Watershed

The Sylvan Lake Watershed Stewardship Society submits a weekly column about the lake

A Beacon of Hope shines in Sylvan Lake

A fundraiser for the Safe Harbour Society to educate about opioid addiction was held on July 13

Gas prices in Sylvan Lake higher than surrounding area

The gas in town is being sold with a retail margin of about four to seven cents a litre

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

Wetaskiwin RCMP investigate indecent act at By The Lake Park

Complaint said man exposed himself in Wetaskiwin

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Chiefs honour Indigenous leader wrongfully hanged in B.C. 154 years ago today

Chief Joe Alphonse says they want his remains returned to his homeland in B.C.’s Cariboo region

Wetaskiwin RCMP investigate attempted armed robbery

Police seek information about alleged attack and identify suspect

Scrapie, a disease related to mad cow, found in two flocks of sheep in Alberta

Health Canada says there is no known link between scrapie and human health

Alberta oil and gas producer cleanup cost estimates set too low, says coalition

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. facing the largest bill at $11.9 billion to clean up 73,000 wells

Scheer on Trump: It’s ‘offensive’ to question the family background of critics

Trump is being called a racist for saying that the four congresswomen should go back where they came from

Instagram expands Canadian pilot removing ‘like’ counts to more countries

Social media giant plans to roll out the test in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Japan, Italy and Ireland

Most Read