A recent tragic announcement by Canadian rock band Tragically Hip shocked fans & turned the Canadian music scene upside down–– its lead singer Gordon Downie had been diagnosed with an incurable form of brain cancer. In fact, a further surprise was in store when the band stated that there would be a final tour in 2016 despite Downie’s illness. The Tragically Hip have toured the Niagara Region numerous times, including countless shows in Buffalo (considered their #1 american concert location), Niagara Falls (recently at the Hard Rock Cafe overlooking the Falls), Niagara-on-the-Lake (more on that later) and most recently St.Catharines.
Tragically Hip History
Tragically Hip has its origins in Ontario and has been entertaining fans since 1984 when they came together to form the band in Kingston. The band’s music is deeply Canadian and the songs are brought to life through guitarists Paul Langlois and Rob Baker, bassist Gord Sinclair, drummer Johnny Fay and of course, Downie. The band has performed to sell-out audiences in several locations across the country and has an especially strong connection with Niagara.
That Night in Niagara
Its 2012 Niagara-on-the-Lake Tragically Hip concert at Butler’s Barracks was a huge hit with the audiences. The event took place on June 30th as part of a two day festival for the Canada Day weekend and was held to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812. The Hip fans did not miss the opportunity and turned out in large numbers, and the band performed before an audience of more than 17000 music lovers. Tragically Hip belted out many of their chart busters at the Niagara-on-the-Lake concert much to the delight of their fans.
Several albums of Tragically Hip have ruled the music charts in Canada attaining number 1 position and the band has received 14 Juno awards that are presented to the best Canadian musicians every year. Some of their popular numbers include:
- Blow at High Dough
- Locked in the Trunk of a Car
- Ahead by a Century
- Nautical Disaster
- and several others.
The songs evoke a sense of all things Canadian through their lyrics. They contain mentions of several Canadian places such as Niagara Falls, Bobcaygeon, Lake Memphremagog, Mistaken Point-Newfoundland, Moonbeam-Ontario and others. There are references to famous Canadian people or events and the lyrics speak of quintessential Canadian experiences including prairie winds and ice hockey. Sample this: “What’s a windswept face, the elusive presence of the sun, to the hard Canadian?”
Tragically Hip Final Tour
It’s hardly surprising that tickets are nearly impossible to obtain for the final tour, especially after the heart-breaking news about Gordon Downie. Although Downie has responded positively to treatment, his cancer called gliobastoma is terminal. But the band will come together for the tour that will kick off on July 22 and will have 11 shows in 10 cities. Emotions will undoubtedly run high throughout the tour especially for the final show at Kingston (which will air live on CBC TV) where it all began for Gordon Downie and The Tragically Hip.
July 22nd will take on a unique feel throughout Canada, as many expect the final concert to be one of the highest rated Canadian TV shows of all-time.
More information is about this occasion is expected to be released.