On Saturday night, the Tragically Hip will play its last show of the Man Machine Poem Tour. Gord Downie, the lead singer, is ill so it is expected to be the last show. All around Canada people are planning Tragically Hip listening parties. My social stream is full of memories, videos and plans. The Hip, as one dear friend pointed out, is the soundtrack of some of our lives. Canadian. It strikes the core of our quiet nationalism, understated but passionate. A Slate article helps explains it some. But over 30 years of life and music memories including of one of my favourites of Gord “swimming” on the Ontario Place rotating stage to “New Orleans is Sinking” (August 1991!). It is hard to explain or enumerate how the music just layered and supported our own stories. Thank you.
Click here to get listening options.
Watching from afar
The CBC is broadcasting the show across radio, tv and youtube. I emailed them hoping that the livestream would not be blocked. They assured me that there is no geofencing, that stream is open for the world. You see, as an expat, we are already far away. Shared experiences become even more precious. The concert starts at 03:30am AST in Qatar. For a friend in Hong Kong, it is 5 hours ahead. Each of us plans to find a stream and watch. Our ‘Canadian’ family and friends are timezones away. Yet, we can participate thanks to the CBC, the band and, surely, the lawyers making it possible.
Saturday nights, in season, is always Hockey Night in Canada. This time the main show will be music. In 2010, Canada had a huge hockey game in the Winter Olympics. Literally, there were signs all over my Toronto neighbourhood. I took a picture and posted to Twitter that Neighbourhood, City and Country was Closed for Hockey. Across Canada people will have a large shared and in person time to watch the Hip. It will be well-known that this is happening. For those of us abroad, we’ll be online. Thank goodness for the internet to help connect us. If you see a sad expat Canadian on August 20/21, ask us about the show.
My thoughts are with the band, their friends and their families.
Time for some Courage. #homesick
(Images in the sign are from Noun Project. CCBY. The “x” is by Doejo and the “sign” is by Kate T. The sign was made with Canva.)