But he won't travel long alone/No, not in Fiddler's Green
May 24, 2016 3:56 AM   Subscribe

The Tragically Hip are the most Canadian rock band. They have a new album coming out next month. They're going on tour. And today they announced lead singer Gord Downie has terminal brain cancer.
posted by GhostintheMachine (92 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Grievously, it makes the band's name all the more apt. :(
posted by fairmettle at 4:02 AM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Sorry (to hear that news) not sorry (to hear that album).
posted by the quidnunc kid at 4:11 AM on May 24, 2016

posted by My Dad at 4:16 AM on May 24, 2016

They're hometown boys here so wow, that is sad news.
posted by Kitteh at 4:17 AM on May 24, 2016

A few months ago, I was saying to a friend "We should see Spirit of the West before they stop touring. They probably won't tour much longer." and then I saw a story on the CBC saying they had just played their last concert ever. So if you are a Tragically Hip fan, don't make the mistake of waiting. If there's a show, go!
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 4:38 AM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

Press release: Gord has terminal cancer.
- Geez, that sucks. Sorry, man.

Press release: ...but we've got a new record coming out! Come see us on tour this summer!
- Wait, what?
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 4:48 AM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Hip are a beloved Canadian band. They've successfully toured for decades and sold a metric shitload of records. They don't need to leverage a personal tragedy for profit, but they do obviously want to give fans the chance to connect just one more time.

I am so done with reflexive cynicism.
posted by maudlin at 4:52 AM on May 24, 2016 [49 favorites]

The guy wants to farewell-tour before he's too sick, what's the problem with that?
posted by thelonius at 5:16 AM on May 24, 2016 [8 favorites]

Fuck no. Now the Reaper is just toying with us.
posted by mondo dentro at 5:18 AM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

During the very short time I played bass part time in a friends band, the first two songs I learned were Hip songs, New Orleans is Sinking and Three Pistols. I honestly never heard much more of the band (and could never seem to learn Long Time Running). That said, goddamn, this sucks.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:27 AM on May 24, 2016

The announcement of the album and tour predates today's news. Sorry if I left the wrong impression.

I saw them on tour for Up To Here, when they were still in the bar-and-university circuit, working out songs for Road Apples. Caught them four or five times since, including when they opened for the Stones in Moncton (and had Maroon 5 open for them). They'd tell stories of starting out as a Doors cover band, sneaking their originals in as an "unreleased Morrison track". The live shows were incredible, with Gord just flailing around in some mystic trance, screaming about hockey or McLuhan or Jacques Cartier while the band played blistering barroom blues rock.

It was such a weird combination, a heavy guitar rock fronted by a poet. Which I guess made the Doors thing seem appropriate. But they grew into so much more, a greater depth of songs and music that for some reason never resonated outside Canada as much as it has within.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 5:31 AM on May 24, 2016 [9 favorites]

This is really tough to hear. This was my first concert when I was 10, on their Fully Completely tour. My dad, brother and I have seen them probably 12-15 times all over the midwest, where we have to travel a bit usually since they're not as well known as in Canada. But they always played to a full house, as their tours seemed to attract a lot of people who followed them from show to show and, of course, the expatriate Canadians who knew their sound and would come, too.

I now live in Pittsburgh, but before I knew I would be living here my brother, dad and I made a trip here for their show in 2006 at the Three Rivers Arts Festival. We waited out back to just see them, really, and Gord walked up and started talking to us. He offered to sign something, and not really planning on that my dad gave him his paper ticket.

Gord wrote, "Brian - where were we?"

Many, many great memories seeing this band. I wish Gord peace and support during this process.
posted by glaucon at 5:32 AM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

Saw them only once around '92 in Ann Arbor. Great energy though, Gord especially. I hope this tour treats him well.
posted by p3t3 at 5:39 AM on May 24, 2016

This is such sad news. The Tragically Hip are a Canadian treasure.
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 5:57 AM on May 24, 2016 [4 favorites]

Damn, this is terrible news. I never did see them, and since I'm not a super-fan I think I'll let someone who is take the seat when they come to town. I did almost see them once in Kingston in the mid-90s when I was drinking at a small pub (the Toucan); there were ads up for some band I'd never heard of who were going to be playing later that night. My friends and I went somewhere else before they took the stage and as it happened it was the Hip playing a gig under a fake name, as they used to do from time to time.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:21 AM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

posted by kneecapped at 6:37 AM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

The Hip are one of my all time favorite bands. The news about Gord makes me sad. I'll be at one of the concerts for sure.
posted by disclaimer at 6:40 AM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

I didn't see their new video until now. It reads very differently than it may have a month ago.
posted by maudlin at 6:47 AM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

What a way to say goodbye.

posted by Theta States at 6:55 AM on May 24, 2016

Please take care of all your Canadians today.
posted by babelfish at 6:55 AM on May 24, 2016 [7 favorites]

The Tragically Hip were so good that they overcame my deep prejudiced loathing for anything even remotely related to Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.
posted by srboisvert at 7:24 AM on May 24, 2016 [3 favorites]

I'm trying to decide what is my favourite Hip song. I have it narrowed down to everything on Road Apples plus about six more. Such awful new.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:28 AM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:32 AM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

I wish that tour dates were available, because if they aren't coming to Minneapolis again (seeing them at First Avenue was amazing), I need to book a trip home.

Ahead by a Century is the first song that I heard in the Year 2000, I was at their New Year's Eve show on 12/31/1999 at the ACC and they played it right after the countdown.
posted by sparklemotion at 7:35 AM on May 24, 2016

well, now i'm going to be in a bad mood all day

the hip are one of the top 10 bands of the last 20 or so years - i will never understand why so few people outside of canada seem to have picked up on this

"And Falstaff sings a sorrowful refrain
For a boy in Fiddler's Green"
posted by pyramid termite at 7:42 AM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

I used to hate the Hip. I went to school in Kingston, Ontario, which is pretty well the band's hometown, and I swear there were some stations that played nothing but Tragically Hip songs.

Then one night I was listening to the radio, and Long Time Running came on. I just couldn't get over how simple and beautiful that song was. And so I went back and started listening to all the records. By the time I got to Nautical Disaster, which is just a perfect rock song, I had to stop. I don't know how I never heard it before, just how good this band really is.

There's never been a Hip song since then that, no matter how often I hear it, ever gets stale, ever loses its shine. Ahead by a Century came out 20 years ago, and hasn't aged a day.

(As an aside: my friend Kevin once got a job delivering Chinese food back when we were in college, and whenever one of the Hip would order in, he'd tip Kevin the equivalent of about a week's worth of Kev's salary).
posted by Fireland at 7:46 AM on May 24, 2016 [9 favorites]

I woke up to this news this morning and I am floored. Somehow, this hits me harder than the other shocking artist tragedies of the last several months. I've been listening to nothing but the Hip for the last week or so for no particular reason. I can't count the number of times I've had the Hip playing on full blast with the windows down at night after a long, bad day just so I could hear someone pour their soul out in the way I always want to. Gord Downie on stage is one of the most amazing rock and roll experiences. Gord Downie with a lyrics notebook, well, it doesn't get any better.

Part of me wants desperately for them to play one last LA show. Part of me knows that's just selfish, and would be too much to ask of him, and maybe too hard to watch, particularly since he looks a lot like my father in law who died of cancer a few years back.

I hate cancer so much.
posted by The World Famous at 7:46 AM on May 24, 2016 [4 favorites]

Courage, my word.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:53 AM on May 24, 2016 [3 favorites]

perspective comes as it always does, for its ransom
posted by Poldo at 8:00 AM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Since people are posting their favorite songs, I want to add some, too.

This is the song my wife and I walked into our wedding reception to. I was a college club hockey player and she had never really watched the sport, but she ended up falling in love with The Hip and hockey. I guess me, too. She suggested this song, and even had my wedding ring engraved with the word "Fireworks" because she connected it so much to us.

38 years old
This was the first song I taught myself to play on the guitar. It was always haunting to imagine this scenario as a kid.

Another Midnight
I could listen to this song on repeat again and again.

Gift Shop
Is there a better opening song for one of their albums?

Maybe this one wins

It's a good life if you don't weaken

posted by glaucon at 8:00 AM on May 24, 2016 [5 favorites]

Of course, The Tragically Hip are popular with Canadians pretty much across the age spectrum. But if you came of age in Canada anywhere from the late 80s to the early aughts, they were an inescapable part of your life. And more than that, Gord Downie's lyrics pretty much taught you what it meant to be Canadian. I mean, you knew about the big stuff. But Downie taught you about the little stuff. Nautical disasters, and Paul Henderson's goal (admittedly not so little), and David Milgaard, and a time when the Leafs won Stanley Cups. And you learned about living in Kingston, and you learned about living in Bobcaygeon, and you learned about living in Thomson, Manitoba, and you learned about driving across the Prairies.

Pierre Trudeau used to say he could feel the vastness of Canada in his bones. Gord Downie's lyrics make you understand what Trudeau meant.

Or to put it another way, fuck cancer.
posted by dry white toast at 8:02 AM on May 24, 2016 [18 favorites]

are we family?
posted by pyramid termite at 8:03 AM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

Learn a little bit about Leafs history with Fifty Mission Cap.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:20 AM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

If they bury me some place I don't want to be
You'll dig me up and transport me, unceremoniously
Away from the swollen city breeze, garbage bag trees
Whispers of disease and the acts of enormity
And lower me slowly and sadly and properly
Get Ry Cooder to sing my eulogy

At the hundredth meridian (hundredth meridian)
At the hundredth meridian (you're going to miss me)
posted by No Robots at 8:23 AM on May 24, 2016 [7 favorites]

Trying to narrow down my favourites, most of them come one after another on Fully Completely. What an album. Nary a more perfect Side A this side of Caravan. And although nothing could possibly leaven the sadness of the news this did make me smile:

Tragically Hip cameo on Corner Gas
posted by Lorin at 8:24 AM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

As a Canadian in the Prairies who graduated high school in 94, I have of course seen the Traj a whack of times. The best show, though, was the raucous first ever Another Roadside Attraction at the old Winnipeg Stadium. They headlined and Midnight Oil was there too along with some other bands, and it was a full daylong marathon of sunshine and scorching metal bench seats and coldish crappy beers in plastic cups. It was probably the most fun I've ever had at a concert.
posted by joelhunt at 8:28 AM on May 24, 2016 [3 favorites]

Another cameo (can't find a clip of it) was as the Kingston team in Men With Brooms.
posted by hydrobatidae at 8:43 AM on May 24, 2016

I just watched the film "One Week" a few days ago. Downie is in it briefly, playing a guy who survived cancer, counselling the lead character, who has incurable cancer.
posted by davebush at 9:02 AM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Hug a Canadian today, this is a sliver in the heart of all of them.

Many years ago I got into a long conversation about Canadian art and music with Bob Wiseman, at that time a member of Blue Rodeo, I asked him his thoughts on Gord, his response:

"I just cannot imagine who else would have to be in a room for all eyes to not be on Gord."


"Enjoy those one-night moments. We'll only be here tonight, this bunch of us in this room," -GordD
posted by Cosine at 9:19 AM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

I was never really ever a huge Tragically Hip fan, but I remember really liking their first big single, Last American Exit when it came out. I was in first year university in London, Ontario, and you could find me most nights of the week seeing bands and spending what little food money I had on beer at Call the Office. (What a great time to see Canadian bands in bars: Plasterscene Replicas! Skydiggers! Rheostatics! Grapes of Wrath!) They played there a couple times and they were really good. He had his long, mid-song Jim Morrison-esque rambly patter down even then and he completely knew how to work an audience.

I aways felt it must have been a kind of drag for them to be shackled to the whole CANADIAN thing. Perhaps it's shallow but it's one of the aspects of them that kind of turned me off over the years; there's a particular kind of Canadian Bro-ness that they are heavily identified with that I always thought was so faux-Canadian, like people that are patriotic about Tim Hortons or whatever. But that seems a bit unfair to the Tragically Hip (to steal a line from Sloan, "it's not the band I hate, it's their fans.")

In any case, despite them not really being on my radar over the years, several songs of theirs really stood out and Downie was always an engaging presence. What makes this particularly sad is that Downie's recent stuff has been really interesting; his solo stuff and particularly his collabs with the Sadies and City and Colour.
Fuck Cancer.
posted by chococat at 9:19 AM on May 24, 2016 [6 favorites]

They have a cure for Canadian bro-ness: "The Hard Canadian."
posted by No Robots at 9:24 AM on May 24, 2016

Not to derail, but Call The Office! I saw so many great shows there over the years (and my sister, who went through a teenage punk phase, practically lived there every weekend for a while). Frickin' Radiohead played Call The Office.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:27 AM on May 24, 2016 [4 favorites]

I was fortunate to see the Hip a few times in small venues, before they got big and started filling arenas, at least here in Canada. The first was a show they did touring Up to Here in what I think was a cafeteria at U of T's Scarborough campus (I remember they used to end those early shows with a version of Train Kept a Rollin' that would leave the audience exhausted). The last was at the old rotating stage Forum at Ontario Place, with Skydiggers and Moe Berg opening.

Gord was always a captivating front man, with his jerky motions and the occasional rambling story mid-song, and the band was always rock-solid throughout his excursions.

I admit I never did latch on to their later output as much as those first few albums, but there were some exceptions.

I don't want to dwell on the bad news...he's still here for now, but I hope Ry Cooder really does sing his Eulogy.
posted by rocket88 at 9:43 AM on May 24, 2016 [3 favorites]

The Hip performing Grace Too on SNL, 1995. Gord changes the opening line to introduce the band to the US audience.

I've seen them live only once, when they played the Across the Causeway show at RMC in 2004, in what was billed as their first Kingston show in nearly a decade. So good.
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 10:01 AM on May 24, 2016 [4 favorites]

Man, that new single is killing me.

I'm conspiring with a friend from Calgary who lives here in the states to fly up for one of the shows.

The only time I've seen them live was at the 9:30 Club in DC when they were touring on Music@Work and it was one of the most memorable shows ever.
posted by The World Famous at 10:07 AM on May 24, 2016

Though I liked their music in general, I never paid much attention to the Hip until the fall of 2003, when a freak rainstorm washed out a bridge between Whistler and Pemberton, and three cars of Whistler nightclub workers, taking a torturous highway home in the pre-dawn blackness and pouring rain, went straight into the debris torrent. Not even all of the vehicles were ever recovered, let alone the bodies.

Gord Downie was booked in town shortly afterwards to do a solo set, but the band did two secret shows under an assumed name at the Boot Pub, a now-demolished dingy hole that did double-duty as strip club and cheap venue for crusty punk rockers, giving all the money raised to funds set up for the families of the deceased.

There was something so fundamentally decent about that act that it made me notice them in a way I hadn't before, and I'm glad I did. So sad to hear this news.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 10:08 AM on May 24, 2016 [8 favorites]

Gord Downie's 2008 cameo in the movie "One Week" just became a whole lot more tragic.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 10:09 AM on May 24, 2016

I am surprised at how much this hurts. I've never been a huge fan, but they have maybe half a dozen songs that for me still remain among the best music I have heard over the last quarter century or so. I still listen to these songs. So yeah, part of the landscape here in Canada, and some of the best music this country ever put out.

And, right when the Hip started getting big in Canada a friend's band opened for them on several dates and to this day he says they are still among the kindest, most decent people he ever encountered during his years in the Canadian music biz.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 10:21 AM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

Glioblastoma can be very fast moving. I hope he gets the best out of the months he has left.
posted by scruss at 12:39 PM on May 24, 2016

Every time someone in Seattle tells me about how grunge music was born there, I want to hit them over the head with Neil Young and The Tragically Hip until they shut up.

Also, fuck cancer.
posted by rokusan at 1:03 PM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

Well, Tom Thompson came paddling past: 10 Gord Downie songs rooted in Canadian experience
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 1:30 PM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

When I picked up a used copy of Fully Completely on a road trip up to Montreal a decade ago I'd never heard of The Tragically Hip. The album grew on me, and then I listened to more, and first it was a warm little secret and then a case of why the fuck am I the only person I know who even knows this band? They would come through the NYC area every so often and there would always be some reason I couldn't see them. I need to change that this time, if I can.
posted by bassomatic at 2:44 PM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

Well, fuck.

Fireworks exploding in the distance
Temporary towers soar
Fireworks emulating heaven
Till there are no stars any more
Fireworks aiming straight at heaven
Temporary towers soar
Till there are no stars shining up in heaven
Till there are no stars any more

posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:26 PM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Aside from several Hip shows, I saw Gord Downie 'solo' (with The Country of Miracles) in 2010 for The Grand Bounce, in the front row, in a beautiful mid-size theatre in Vancouver. Julie Doiron was with him, one leg in a cast after she'd stepped into a post-hole a few days before. He and the band ran through Coke Machine Glow and Battle of The Nudes and at some point they started doing art with an old school-classroom overhead projector, coloured water, and several layers of acetate. Someone yelled out for a Tragically Hip song and he said "nah, that's not what we're doing tonight."

When I was doing my undergrad, a Canadian Lit professor gently dissuaded me from writing an essay on some of his work. And to be fair, he's not exactly an Atwood or an Ondaatje. But this is a guy who did a short for At The Quinte Hotel and has no doubt inspired any number of poets to come. He's an amazing performer and a seemingly-amazing individual and I am going to be hoping like hell to get tickets for the farewell tour.
posted by majuju at 3:50 PM on May 24, 2016

I was reminiscing yesterday with some friends about a concert I saw on Canada Day, Edgefest 1990, which had an insanely long list of band playing and was closed by The Hip. Turns out I was incorrectly remembering being there in 1990 and 1991. Anyway, that was the only time I ever saw them live. Gord spouting all sorts of random thoughts. I remember screaming myself hoarse during "Boots or Hearts": forty-one if you include...the fact that WE DON'T CARE

I love them unequivocally. Ahead by a Century and Lake Fever still make the hair stand up on the back of my neck, and I am constantly staggered at how good the non-singles songs are. I wish I could have seen them live more often. On the other hand, as it happens I lived in Kingston for about 8 years, directly across the street from Gord Sinclair (the OTHER Gord, the bass player) and used to watch him pulling his kids back and forth in a wagon. Rob Baker lived right around the corner and I'd regularly see him and Johnny Fay downtown at one of the coffee joints. So, turns out I DID see them lots...just not on stage. And moved out of town the year before the big concert venue was built.
posted by hearthpig at 4:59 PM on May 24, 2016

This is so sad.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 5:13 PM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

Not to diminish the pride or tradition of any other culture or nation, but "Canadiana" is really a thing. A big thing.

And holy shit, did The Hip ever make their mark on it. For certain generation(s) they virtually owned it. I can't believe how hard this hit me.

Downey found, and mined, all our souls.
posted by raider at 5:55 PM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

I am constantly staggered at how good the non-singles songs are.

Yes! That's how my list of "absolute favourite Hip songs" got so long! (And this thread is reminding me of even more.)
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:00 PM on May 24, 2016

rocket88 -- I was at that Ontario Place show! Good times.
posted by atropos at 6:11 PM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Can't believe I just wrote Downey, not Downie; there should really be a gratuitous "u" in there somewhere too.... Gourd?

Best writeup I've seen so far

posted by raider at 6:33 PM on May 24, 2016

live at woodstock 99 (nsfw boobies)
posted by pyramid termite at 7:10 PM on May 24, 2016

There's no good cancer, but this one is a fucker... So, so sorry this is happening to Gord Downie and his family.
posted by cotton dress sock at 8:08 PM on May 24, 2016

I went to college in a town blessed with Rhino Records, which had a glorious $0.99 bin. I found Day for Night in that bin right before my senior year, and I played it and played it and played it and loved it.

Much love to Gord and the Hip.
posted by RakDaddy at 8:49 PM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Courage has been mentioned upthread a number of times already but I'm going to add my two cents with some lyrics. I heard the song earlier today, just after hearing about his death sentence. I never really knew what the song was about but the lyrics suddenly made a different kind of sense than maybe what was intended:

There's no simple explanation
For anything important any of us do
And yeah the human tragedy
Consists in the necessity
Of living with the consequences
Under pressure, under pressure
Courage, my word, it didn't come, it doesn't matter,
Courage, your word, it didn't come, it doesn't matter
Courage, my word, it didn't come, it doesn't matter
Courage, it couldn't come at a worse time

Finding out that you're going to die takes courage, and it can only ever come at the worst time.

I hope that he and his family find the courage to deal with this in the best way they can.
posted by ashbury at 8:53 PM on May 24, 2016 [4 favorites]

I went to college in a town blessed with Rhino Records, which had a glorious $0.99 bin. I found Day for Night in that bin right before my senior year, and I played it and played it and played it and loved it....
posted by RakDaddy at 11:49 PM on May 24

I listened to that album on repeat constantly the summer of 1995....the song "Yawning or Snarling" had a particular hold on me at that time, with the bass just thumping in the background and the atmospheric guitar filtering in behind it, but pretty much that whole album is just goddamn gold.

This has been a rough day. I'm hoping Gord pulls through, but I'm so lucky to have seen them as many times as I have.
posted by glaucon at 8:55 PM on May 24, 2016

I like a lot of Tragically Hip songs, but one of my favourites is Eldorada. A live version that showcases just a little bit of the weirdness of performing Gord, more pronounced at the end; and a studio version.

The Hip were so much a part of my youth and 20's. So much a part of my generation. They got woven into the Canadian culture and consciousness in ways that few others have.

I'll restrain from linking to all of my fave tracks, but I have to leave this one here...

Boots or Hearts
posted by ashbury at 9:33 PM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Visiting friends in BC when Day for Night came out. So Hard Done By turned into the soundtrack of our travels. Such a sexy groove but so intelligent..


Interesting and sophisticated
Refusing to be celebrated

And now that I've got you all strangely compelled
I'm afraid Gordie's not feeling well


I'm sure GD would forgive the insertion of his name.

posted by raider at 10:20 PM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

Oh no, this is awful--such sad news.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:26 PM on May 24, 2016

Can't link because my phone's not cooperating, but Gord Downie's performance of Al Purdy's "At the Quinte Hotel" is one of my favourite things.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:29 PM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Such great memories.

I was at Maple Leaf Gardens for the Fully Completely tour. The roar in Fifty Mission Cap when the Leafs won the cup was deafening. Some guy puked in the hood of my jacket during the show and I left in the dead of winter freezing to get on the subway. Didn't matter, I was ecstatic.

Next stop - Molson Park, Barrie for Another Roadside Attraction tour. A friend of mine worked at a radio station. He "broadcasted" live by duct taping a giant candy bar cell phone to his stomach and crowd surfing across the front of the stage.

Last stop - Six Flags Darien Lake in Batavia, New York. The venue was practically empty. My friends and I ran down to the front and sang along. The fireworks come as they always do to top off the evening. This was an awesome show.

The sister bootleg to the famous Killer Whale Tank version of New Orleans is Sinking is the Double Suicide monologue for Highway Girl. Some friends and I did an ad-hoc of just the monologue on top of some djembe drumming with a bunch of hippies in Vancouver - it sounded great and the lyrics were totally adaptable.

This is the Canadian music canon and brings me so strongly back to my teenage years and young adulthood ... sad day indeed.
posted by crazycanuck at 11:03 PM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

Such awful news. I love so many of their songs, but When the Weight Comes Down has always been on every playlist I've had since it came out.
posted by jessian at 11:13 PM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Thank you for finding my next favorite band for me.

I'm at least fifteen years behind in popular music.
posted by bendy at 2:22 AM on May 25, 2016 [4 favorites]

I never was much of a fan, but being a Canadian of a certain age, they were an inescapable part of the landscape. I feel for everyone with a stronger connection than mine.

I did see them once, at some festival show in The Hague, of all places. And they did a killer whale tank monologue -- I don't think it was the killer whale tank monlogue, but it was a killer whale tank monlogue. I loved it, and carried it around with me for years. It took a long, long time before I ever heard it again, and what a fond memory it was.

So to Gord and the boys -- thanks for bringing a bit of home to me in my expat year. That was nice.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:57 AM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

I wish that tour dates were available, because if they aren't coming to Minneapolis again (seeing them at First Avenue was amazing), I need to book a trip home.
Here you go:
July 22 – Victoria, BC
July 24 – Vancouver, BC
July 28 – Edmonton, AB
August 1 – Calgary, AB
August 5 – Winnipeg, MB
August 8 – London, ON
August 10 – Toronto, ON
August 12 – Toronto, ON
August 16 – Hamilton, ON
August 18 – Ottawa, ON
August 20 – Kingston, ON
posted by milnews.ca at 9:25 AM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

It's only fitting that they're ending it where it began: here in Kingston.
posted by Kitteh at 11:34 AM on May 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

This fucking year, man.

I'm starting to deliberately not even look at my old CD collection anymore, because it all hurts. It's getting to be nothing but ghosts, all the way down.
posted by rokusan at 1:44 PM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Scrittore's comment here (the final one in the Prince thread as I type this) just makes me very extra-sad now. Hell of a guy, by all accounts.
posted by rokusan at 1:51 PM on May 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

July 22 – Victoria, BC... August 20 – Kingston, ON

"Tickets will be available Friday, June 3 at 10am local time. (each venue)."

Naturally, I'll be 30,000 feet over the Pacific at that hour.

God. Dammit.
posted by rokusan at 8:34 PM on May 26, 2016

Predictably, the presale tickets were all scooped up by scalpers.

(Also predictably, when I mentioned his condition on FB, someone jumped in with a “he'd be okay if he only used insert quack cure here! Big pharma sucks, learn the truth here! link to private FB group”)
posted by scruss at 8:16 AM on June 1, 2016

There is an insane amount of animosity, particularly here in Kingston, about the presale tickets. I don't think I know a single person who was able to nab tickets for the show. The sale of the rest of the tickets happens on Friday, I think. I wonder if the same will happen.
posted by Kitteh at 8:36 AM on June 1, 2016

The Hip added four shows in Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Toronto to try to deal with demand. Tickets sold out quickly.

If you go to Stubhub, there are thousands available. The prices are high, but not terrible. Two seats together at Rogers Arena in Vancouver can be had for $500 USD including fees. For reference, this is roughly the same price I paid (face value) for the women's gold medal hockey game for the 2010 Olympics. There are fans that will pay this money for these tickets. Let's face it, it's a middle age rock fest, we're older than we think. It's no different than paying giant bucks to see the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney or Elton John, except this time with the cultural significance added on. Suck it up and take one for capitalism. I'm going to the show.

The CBC is in talks to broadcast the final concert in Kingston. I hope this goes forward. It would be a fitting end. Kind of like broadcasting the Stanley Cup final.
posted by crazycanuck at 10:39 AM on June 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

There are floor tickets on Stubhub selling for the Kingston going for four digits each, if the screencaps on the #ygk Twitter timeline are anything to go by. That's insane.
posted by Kitteh at 11:18 AM on June 4, 2016

I believe it. People will pay. I think for the gold medal men's hockey final in Vancouver, the $900 face value tickets were going for a good $3000-$4000 each. I see it as a comparable entertainment event.
posted by crazycanuck at 11:44 AM on June 4, 2016

I wish I could favourite crazycanuck's comment about CBC broadcasting the Kingston concert, but that would mean favouriting the rest of it, too, and I can't do that.

Suck it up and take one for capitalism? What the hell? Scalping adds nothing to the value of the tickets, gives nothing to the artist or venue, and only benefits the parasitic scalper who adds absolutely no service other than pure greed. No, I won't "take one for capitalism". There's no need for it. Promoters have to do a better job at this. They can mitigate the worst of these effects, they can plan better, and they can help fight these leeches so the tickets get in the hands of the intended customer first.

And yes, it would be awesome if CBC recorded the final concert, because that's the only way I'm going to see this tour. I sure as hell won't be rewarding some invasive species that exists solely for its own benefit.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 2:39 AM on June 5, 2016 [3 favorites]

Broadcasting their final show live would be an immense service to the fans and do quite a bit to help quell the anger and hurt around missing out on tickets due to scalpers.
They just need to be sure they do it PROPERLY and anticipate the streaming demand. I could see parties and bar nights popping up all across the country dedicated to watching it, everyone together.
posted by Theta States at 6:25 AM on June 6, 2016

Nevermind parties and bar nights, they could open up places like the Skydome to watch on the jumbotron with full crowd-admosphere. They did this for the last game of the World Series in Atlanta in 1992 and the Skydome was packed full to watch the game on the Jumbotron. Price of admission was 2 cans of food for the food bank. I assume they made back the costs of opening + from the food and beverage sales.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:33 AM on June 6, 2016

I just checked and the Jays will be in Cleveland the day of the last concert. If I were all of you, I would start lobbying Rogers and CBC for Jumbotron airing right now.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:19 AM on June 6, 2016

In all the hullabaloo about scalpers and "real fans" not getting tickets, I've yet to see anyone questioning the choice of small(ish) venues for this mini-tour.
Arenas? This is summer, guys...you can do an outdoor show in a park setting and have essentially unlimited ticket availability and virtually no scalping.
posted by rocket88 at 1:59 PM on June 6, 2016

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