TicketMOMster review: The Tragically Hip Live in Kingston on CBC
As I waited for the CBC to start their coverage, I scrolled through my newsfeed on Facebook. It was full of my friends in Hip shirts, pictures of their Hip memorabilia and shots of private viewing parties.
I wondered if this has ever happened in the history of music in Canada. If any nation has ever rallied around a rock band the way this nation has come together for our rock band. I wondered if my 5 yr old Daughter would ever experience a musical moment as significant, as uniquely Canadian as this. Will this be the event my adult Daughter wishes she was at?
The CBC started their transition from the Olympics to The Hip. I saw the shots of the crowds in different venues across Canada and smiled at the Winnipeg crowd at Assiniboine Park. I felt a twinge of jealousy that I wasn’t there.
Why wasn’t I there? I had resigned myself to the fact that this was “the end” at the MTS Centre show. I already mourned and celebrated with an arena full of people. I said my goodbyes and telepathically told Gord how much I appreciated him in the packed arena that night. Anything after that moment was icing. Bittersweet icing.
The CBC cameras cut back to Brazil, to Ron MacLean and a minuscule listening party with two handfuls of Olympians. I was instantly irritated. No offence to the Olympians, but at this point I didn’t give a $hit about Olympians. All I cared about was Canada and how Canada was celebrating.
I understood that the CBC was trying to create a segue and I love Ron, but I wanted to see someone (Cough! George Stroumboulopoulos! Cough!) who could relate to this event and NOT put a sports angle to it. It’s not about sports, it’s about music. It’s not about Brazil and Olympians, it’s about Canada. Luckily, that segment was short-lived.
Cut to backstage where The Hip were getting ready for their final (?) show. Gord hugged everyone and kissed them on the lips.
I remember being struck by the intimacy of this at their Winnipeg show. The fact that in the end it’s only love that matters. And here were these men, these brothers, completely unafraid to show love to each other. Because if not now, when? The answer is now; all the time. Every chance you can get. The sincerity and purity of it was truly beautiful.
They started the show with Fifty-Mission Cap. I’m not sure if I’ve ever watched a concert with my heart so exposed. It was like someone had pulled apart my ribs. My heart beating slowly…heavily, like it was covered in Hudson Bay blankets. And that’s the way it remained for the entire show; weighed down and completely open.
I put my notebook down and stopped writing. I sat there with my exposed heart, soaking everything in. I saw Rob Baker cementing the moment in his memory during Courage, I watched the crowd happily fill in lyrics and cheer for the CBC.
I felt grateful that so many people were able to witness this event. I heard the shout outs to Trudeau and watched the crowd pass the huge Canadian flag around the arena.
A couple of times I almost clapped after the song ended because I was there. I was right there. I cried every time they cut to a woman in the audience who was also crying. The brunette in red, the blonde in black, we were all feeling the same things.
I’m not sure I’ll ever get the image of Gord crying and screaming at the end of Grace, Too out of my mind. It was both heart-wrenching and riveting at the same time.
I thought I had worked through this and I said my goodbyes, but I guess I was wrong. Because “I think this one thing is always supposed to stay, this one thing doesn’t have to go away”.
I don’t want it to go away.
And now I’m crying again.
P.S. I hope the CBC releases this concert on DVD. I feel like I need to hold it in my hands.
TicketMOMster is a Rock and Jazz-loving Mom; single-handedly keeping Ticketmaster alive in Winnipeg. Follow her musical journey here: www.facebook.com/TicketMOMsters