Migs Blog: The Tragically Hip

August 19, 2016

When I was in college in the 90’s we would go on small road trips to see bands play.  In Plattsburgh NY there weren’t a ton of shows happening…however from time to time Trey from Phish would pop up at a bar and perform, which was awesome.  Thankfully Plattsburgh was just 30 minutes or so from Montreal and a 15 minute ferry to Burlington Vermont.  We would see a bunch of shows in Burlington, and I’ll never forget the time I saw the Tragically Hip at a small club in Vermont. 

Who are the Tragically Hip?

In Canada…you would be kicked out of their country if you asked that.  The Hip are Canada’s Pearl Jam…they are Canada’s Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.  Their songs are incredible, and they are fronted by a man that writes lyrics that are straight up poems in honor of their country. 

The song that turned me on to the band is a song called Courage.  Still to this day it’s one of my favorite songs…I just love Gord Downie’s voice…

When I saw them play in Vermont, it was in support of the album that has that song…the record is called “Fully Completely”, and it’s a masterpiece.  Every song on that record is great. 

Not only is Gord a great lyricist and singer…he is an awesome front man.  I’ll never forget that show in Vermont… Gord “Bribed” all of us to stand closer to the stage…but throwing out an insane amount of dollar bills to the crowd.  It didn’t matter the size of the venue…the guy is larger than life.  You see… in America, the Hip attracted a solid fan base, but they were never huge…however in Canada…they are an arena rock band.

Now why am I geeking out about them? Well it’s a sad and inspirational reason.

Last December,  Gord Downie was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer …he's only 52.  He decided instead of that being the end of the band, that they would do one more tour in support of their new (amazing) record, “Man Machine Poem”…it’s a celebration of his life and their music.  Very heavy stuff right there.

This Saturday is the final show.  They will be playing in their hometown of Kingston, Ontario. The CBC will be there to broadcast it to all of Canada (we get CBC here –it’s channel 619 on XFINITY), commercial-free, both on TV, radio, and online. It all starts at 5:30pm, and you better believe I will be watching this.

If you have a chance, watch this concert…I have a strong feeling that this is going to be a powerful night of music… a group of friends sharing one last night on stage with their front man. 

Here are a couple of my favorite Hip songs…

At The Hundredth Meridian:


Little Bones:

New Orleans Is Sinking: