If you’ve been in Canada the past few weeks or months, you know* that this summer is the last tour for the Tragically Hip under tragic circumstances. Lead singer Gord Downie announced this spring that he has terminal brain cancer. Tickets for the most sought after concert series in years sold out in minutes.
These performances have become a national cultural event. The final concert is tonight in the band’s hometown of Kingston, Onatrio. CBC will air it live on TV, radio, and online. Considering they have the Canadian broadcast rights to the Olympics and are instead choosing to air the Hip concert gives you some idea what a touchstone this is.
Through it all, friends have talked and posted excitedly the band; what they’ve meant to them, the sadness that it’s coming to an end; struggles and triumphs when they got tickets; frustration when they couldn’t; and where they’ll be watching. I’ve smiled and exclaimed excitedly or dismay; I’ve liked the heck out their posts; but it’s been a cover for a dark secret: