When news broke this morning that lead singer and founding member Gord Downie of the much-loved Canadian Alternative band The Tragically Hip, had succumbed to his long battle with brain Cancer, it came as no real surprise to many, but the sadness and loss was shared by millions all over Canada and throughout the world. News of his passing was delivered in an emotional statement by fan and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier today.
In 2015 Downie was first diagnosed with Brain Cancer, but it wasn’t until the following year, in May of 2016 that he made the diagnosis public. In what began as a tour promoting their 14th album, Man Machine Poem, became evident this may be the last time the band would perform with Downie in his lead role. And it was decided that a concert, given in their hometown of Kingston, Ontario would be their farewell.
So this concert, played to a sold-out, overflow crowd at the K-Rock Centre in Kingston was carried live by the CBC on radio, TV and streaming worldwide. For a little over 2 1/2 hours, the band gave the concert of a lifetime, as a living tribute to Gord Downie and as a way of giving back to the fans who had been with the band since their inception in 1984.
Although they never achieved the popularity in the U.S. as they did on their home turf, they had a string of number One albums and won every conceivable award given by the Canadian Music Industry and even appointed to The Order of Canada earlier this year.
One of Canada’s best loved Rock Bands and a tribute tonight in memory of the passing of their iconic singer, Gord Downie.
If you know the band, you know this concert, probably have this concert and most likely have been playing it all day. If you aren’t familiar, give a listen – they were/are an extraordinary band who have been around some 30 years and you should know about them.
Crank it up – and relax for the next 2 1/2 hours.
And while you’re doing that, please consider chipping in to the Past Daily Fall Fundraiser, which we’re holding now and getting wonderful response from you. We do it every year and we’re trying this year to make it as unobtrusive as possible. So far, so good. If you haven’t made your choice, please consider contributing a little, even the price of a cup of coffee or a movie ticket – a little goes a long way and it’s all deeply appreciated. Just click on the link here: (Past Daily’s Fall Fundraiser) and make your pledge. It’s easy, painless and it lasts all year. Big hug to those of you who have kicked in so far. Keep up the great work telling your friends!