Yesterday was the birthday of Gord Downie. I didn’t get to see any of their dates on the final tour in person, but this is a photo of the last time I saw The Tragically Hip play: a series of 3 song mini-sets at Supermarket to promote the release of Now for Plan A.
I couldn’t tell you what the other two songs were that they played, but seeing “Grace, Too” in that small venue brought me back to being the teenage fan I used to be. It reminded me of how great a frontman Gord Downie was, and also how much of a role that group played in my youth. The Hip made me expect more from a live show than just playing carbon copies of songs from their album. The way Gord would improvise stories in instrumental breaks, or ‘fight’ with his mic stand, or just point to someone in the audience and connect with them for a moment, they always made their audience feel like a part of something. Each night, and show, was a unique experience.
Gord may be gone, but he’ll never be forgotten. Happy birthday.