Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday July 23, 2016
Tragically Hip tour, 1st since Gord Downie’s cancer revelation, kicks off in Victoria
Fans are breathlessly anticipating the Tragically Hip concert tonight in Victoria.
It’s the first show of the band’s latest tour following late May’s shocking revelation that front man Gord Downie, 52, has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
The Hip has been perfecting its artistry for decades, entertaining millions with crowd-pleasers like Bobcaygeon, At the Hundredth Meridian, and Ahead by a Century.
But, given the demands of the road, and with Downie’s dire prognosis, people are wondering just how this tour will unfold.
“I don’t know how they’re feeling [gearing up to] the launch of the tour, but I imagine they’re excited. I know their fans are excited,” said Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah Harmer, who has collaborated with the Hip in the past and says the group has been “firing people up” for years with “amazing” energy at live shows.
“I think they’re doing what they do, living in the moment, playing shows, making it unique every night,” she told CBC News.
Friday’s show will be emotional, “not only for the fans, but for the crew, for the promoters, for the buildings, for anyone who is there,” predicted Victoria-based music promoter Nick Blasko, who’s worked with the band a number of times.
“I think that there’s no hiding behind the reason why this tour is happening and, for a lot of people, this is a goodbye.”
Over the next month, the band will then continue through a 15-date concert tour across the nation, concluding with a grand finale in its hometown of Kingston, Ont. (Source: CBC News)