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Claimed:Wheat Kings [Reviewed]


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Last night was a sad night for Canada as The Tragically Hip performed what will likely be their last show, in truly tragic fashion. Earlier this summer, The Hip's iconic and legendary frontman Gord Downie was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer - in response, the band scheduled one last tour across Canada and last night that tour came to an end in the place where it all started for the band, Kingston, Ontario.


The Tragically Hip have been performing for over 3 decades and have become something of a national symbol for Canada with their real, meaningful lyrics that echo across the vast nation. They never hit it big in the U.S., but to give our American friends an idea of how big they are in Canada: the CBC paid $70M to broadcast the Olympics this summer but last night, instead of broadcasting the Olympics, they broadcasted the full 3 something hour concert being performed by The Tragically Hip, free of commericials, free of commentary, free of any interruptions to what they called a national celebration. 


Many notable people were in attendance including Canada's Prime Minister and a whole host of VHL figures, including Canadian players like Zach Parechkin, Tom Lincoln, Unassisted, Black Velvet, and Atticus von Braxton. Also in attendance, seated in a press box along with the Prime Minister, was league Commissioners Shaw and Higgins, and the Knight brothers Phil and David, who are all Canadian. 


Responding to our request for comment on the show, Shaw said "It's difficult to put into words really. To see someone who has touched so many people for so long go out like this, to something that nobody has any control over, you know, you try to relax and enjoy the show but you can't shake the knowledge that this is, in effect, a goodbye." 


Canadians weren't the only ones paying tribute last night, though. At a show in Chicago, the American group Pearl Jam took a timeout from their show to offer support to their fellow rockers and to fans. Back in Kingston, The Hip played almost non-stop for over 3 hours, their set list touching on fan favorites spanning their entire careers before, after three encores, Downie ended the show with a simple "thank you for that" before walking off the stage. 


A sad day for the country, and a sad day for fans around the world. A tragic ending for a legendary band, a tragic ending for a legendary man.



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Great to see so many people paying tribute to an icon. It's a such a tragedy when the person is a music icon that lots of people know is dying. I don't know his music personally but I can see how this affects many. Paying respects to the man and hopefully he goes peacefully when he is ready.

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