Downie calls out to Trudeau during Tragically Hip’s final show of tour

Tragically Hip kick off tour's final show with fan favourites

KINGSTON, Ont. — The Tragically Hip mixed fan favourites, newer songs and some politics on Saturday night during the final show of their “Man Machine Poem” tour.

Lead singer Gord Downie, who started the show wearing a metallic silver suit and hat with a “Jaws” T-shirt underneath, hugged and kissed his bandmates before they stepped on stage at the K-Rock Centre in the group’s hometown of Kingston, Ont.

Minutes earlier, as the raucous sold-out crowd waited for the band to emerge, an impromptu rendition of O Canada broke out and a banner reading “Thank You Prime Minister Downie!” was passed around the arena.

The band immediately gave fans what they wanted to hear, starting their set with four straight hits from the classic album “Fully Completely:” opener “50 Mission Cap,” followed by “Courage (for Hugh MacLennan),” “Wheat Kings” and “At the Hundredth Meridian.”

The Hip then segued into their latest album “Man Machine Poem,” with four tracks including the single “In a World Possessed by the Human Mind.”

Before “Machine,” Downie launched into one of his trademark onstage rants, calling out to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was in the crowd for the show. Trudeau’s official photographer tweeted a photo of the prime minister and Downie embracing before the concert.

“Well, you know, prime minister Trudeau’s got me, his work with First Nations. He’s got everybody. He’s going to take us where we need to go,” Downie said from the stage.

“It’s going to take us 100 years to figure out what the hell went on up there,” he continued, “but it isn’t cool and everybody knows that. It’s really, really bad, but we’re going to figure it out, you’re going to figure it out.”

Many anticipate this will be the band’s final tour, given the recent news that Downie is battling terminal brain cancer.

Before performing the “Road Apples” song “Fiddler’s Green,” Downie seemed to reference the outpouring of support from fans in the wake of his diagnosis.

“Thank you, people, for keeping me pushing and keeping me pushing,” he said, which prompted a “Gordie!” chant from the audience.

After playing 21 songs, Downie and his fellow bandmates — guitarists Rob Baker and Paul Langlois, bassist Gord Sinclair and drummer Johnny Fay — embraced and prepared to retire for a pre-encore break. Downie was left alone on stage to take in the roaring ovation.

After returning for a few more songs, Downie again spoke about his fondness for Trudeau.

“Thank you to the prime minister for coming to our show, it really means a lot to all of us,” he said.

“We’re in good hands, folks, real good hands. He cares about the people way up North, that we were trained our entire lives to ignore, trained our entire lives to hear not a word of what’s going on up there. And what’s going on up there ain’t good. It’s maybe worse than it’s ever been, so it’s not on the improve. (But) we’re going to get it fixed and we got the guy to do it, to start, to help.

“Thank you everybody. Thanks for listening to that. Thanks for listening, period. Have a nice life.”

David Friend, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Vancouver Island pharmacist suspended for giving drugs with human placenta

RCMP had samples of the seized substances tested by Health Canada

Motor vehicle incident on Mount Washington road involving a motorcycle

Emergency personnel were called out to the scene of a motor vehicle… Continue reading

Bylaw rescinded after vacation rental owners express concerns

Concerns included a lack of consultation

Get ready for a week of sunshine across Vancouver Island

Environment Canada is forecasting temperatures in the high teens all this week

B.C. students send books to displaced students of Hornby Island school fire

Maple Ridge elementary school teacher says students learned about acts of kindness

Video: Flyers new mascot ‘Gritty’ a bearded, googly-eyed terror

The Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their new mascot Monday, and as one would expect of the team that gave us the “Broad Street Bullies,” he’s far from cuddly.

Vancouver Island designated as foreign trade zone

Designation simplifies importing and exporting and provides duty relief

Edmonton cannabis company revenues more than triples to $19.1 million

Aurora Cannabis revenues more than triple in fourth quarter

Seattle one step closer to NHL after arena plan approved

Seattle City Council unanimously approved plans for a privately funded $700 million renovation of KeyArena

Harvest Moon to light up B.C. skies with an ‘autumn hue’

It’s the first moon after the autumn equinox

Hockey league gets $1.4M for assistance program after Humboldt Broncos crash

Program will help players, families, coaches and volunteers after the shock of the deadly crash

Canada has removed six out of 900 asylum seekers already facing U.S. deportation

Ottawa had said the ‘overwhelming majority’ had been removed

Appeal pipeline decision but consult Indigenous communities, Scheer says

The federal appeals court halted the Trans Mountain expansion last month

Most Read