The Final(?) Tragically Hip Tour Begins: Here’s What Happened on Night One

The final (and I’ll continue to put a “?” after that word for now) began Friday night in Victoria BC. How would the band handle what is going be the most emotional tour in Canadian music history. Reader Brian was there. He sends this report.

I was at the show last night, in a fantastic side view seat. As it happens I was on the first row of the level with nothing between me and the stage about 60-70 feet away.

It was a night of musical magic. The crowd shot to our feet in a standing ovation as soon as the lights dimmed. The band came up on stage and it was over 2 hours of pure excellence.

Thousands gathered outside talking about the hip meant to them. I met one man from Nova Scotia who drove(!) here to see the performance in the tour’s smallest venue. The set list was totally a fan favorite send-off, with only the single from Man Machine Poem slipping in.

Set list (from my local paper, the Times Colonist)

1. Boots or Hearts

2. New Orleans Is Sinking

3. Opiated

4. Blow at High Dough

5. Machine

6. What Blue

7. Tired As F—

8. In a World Possessed By the Human Mind

9. Something On

10. Poets

11. Bobcaygeon

12. Fireworks

13. Family Band

14. Lonely End of the Rink

15. Yer Not the Ocean

16. In View

17. Last of the Unplucked Gems

18. The Luxury

19. Little Bones

20. Long Time Running

21. Twist My Arm

ENCORE

22. Eldorado

23. Wheat Kings

24. At the Hundredth Meridian

ENCORE 2

25. Gift Shop

26. Ahead By A Century

People cheering madly at every break in a song- everyone singing along, It felt like I had 8000 best friends last night and we were all at the Church of the Hip together. A lot of people started crying during Long Time Running and lighters were everywhere.

I would have liked 50 Mission Cap [Whaa? They didn’t play it? – AC] but oh, well. Their catalogue simply runs too deep to hear everything in one night. No Scared, Courage or Fiddler’s Green- too sad and emotionally fraught I guess.

They actually broadcast the show live downtown as well.

Last night was the greatest concert  I have ever seen.

Better than the Police reunion in Vancouver, Elton John, the Tina Turner farewell tour…. I could go on and on. Maybe it is simply because the music of the Tragically Hip is woven throughout my life.

Excuse me, I have to go and see if I can call in sick to work and catch the Vancouver show(s).

Brian

Another report appeared in the Toronto Sun.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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