|photo: Mike Homer / The Tragically Hip|
The Tragically Hip performed their farewell concert at the Rogers K-Rock Centre in the band’s hometown of Kingston, ON on August 20.
hennemusic streamed the show live via Canada’s national public broadcaster, the CBC, which interrupted its coverage of the 2016 Olympics to present “The Tragically Hip: A National Celebration,” a concert event featuring the last show of the group’s farewell tour following news in May that frontman Gord Downie had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
Alongside guitarists Paul Langlois and Rob Baker, bassist Gord Sinclair and drummer Johnny Fay, Downie led the band through a 3-hour concert that presented 30 songs from their career, including material from their latest album, “Man Machine Poem.”
Opening with their 1992 classic, “Fifty Mission Cap”, The Tragically Hip delivered a 21-song main set followed by an unprecedented three encores that concluded with the 1996 hit, “Ahead By A Century.”
"We’re officially into unchartered waters,” said Downie. “We never do third ones."
Downie gave a few shout outs during the show to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was on hand to witness what may be the final send-off to a Canadian institution.
“Gord and The Tragically Hip are an inevitable and essential part of what we are and who we are as a country,” Trudeau told the CBC before the band hit the stage.
In addition to the 6,700 fans inside the arena, close to 25,000 gathered in Kingston’s Market Square to watch the concert on a big screen, while people across Canada accessed the broadcast via tv, radio and online, as well as at viewing parties in clubs and venues around the country.
Calling it “an unprecedented event,” the CBC reports preliminary audience figures show the event drew 11.7 million Canadians – or about one-third of the country’s population – with the television broadcast averaging 4 million viewers.
Expected to be the group’s final appearance, the last show of a 15-date Canadian tour was held in the arena in the band’s Ontario hometown on a street named The Tragically Hip Way.
One of Canada’s most beloved bands, The Tragically Hip formed in 1984 and have issued 13 studio albums to huge success in their homeland, earning 14 Juno Awards and inductions into both the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame and Canada’s Walk Of Fame.
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