Tuesday, 25 April 2017

The Tragically Hip

The Tragically Hip (informally known as The Hip) are a rock band hailing from Kingston Ontario. The band is comprised of Gord Downie on vocals and guitar, Paul Langlois on guitar and backing vocals, Rob Baker on guitar, Gord Sinclair on bass and backing vocals and Johnny Fay on percussion.

By Scott Alexander (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The band has released 14 studio albums from 1987 throughout 2016 and has had great success in Canada, but were not able to capitalize in the United States. That’s ok though, the band is notorious for singing about Canadian things. For example “50 Mission Cap” was written as a tribute to Toronto Maple Leafs defense man Bill Barilko who mysteriously disappeared on a fishing trip 4 months after scoring a Stanley cup winning goal. Other notables are “Bobcaygeon” a small town in the Kawartha’s in Ontario, “Fireworks” mentions 70’s Canadiana such as the national fitness program and the summit series. “At The Hundredth Meridian” is the line of longitude that separates Western Canada from Central and Atlantic Canada. “Wheat Kings” references the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) and the wrongfully convicted David Milgaard case of the late 60’s.

Front man Gord Downie was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2016.That summer The Hip began their Man Machine Poem Tour and it was quickly labelled as the bands last concert tour by the media. The tour generated a ton of buzz in Canada and actually exposed glaring flaws with Ticketmaster's buying and selling processes and scalpers in Canada. The final show of the tour was held in their hometown of Kingston Ontario and it was broadcast and streamed online by the CBC. The concert was viewed nation wide by over 11.7 million people which is approximately 1/3rd of the population of Canada.

The night of the concert I moved a TV onto my patio and hooked up a 200 watt speaker and invited a handful of friends over to watch. The concert was approximately 3 hours long which consisted of 30 songs being played and 3 encore sets. (I built a Spotify playlist of the 30 songs in order of the concert that you can listen to.)


There's no doubt that they are Canada's band and The Tragically Hip will always have a special place in the hearts and ears of all Canadians.

What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here

About the Author

Ed Arsenault is a content creator for Real Man Travels. He is also the site's dedicated design, photography/videography and web maintenance guy. When he isn't writing or photographing for the website he is either camping, on a beach in a tropical destination or selling beer to bars in Toronto. Connect with Ed on Twitter or Instagram.

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