I've talked a lot about The Tragically Hip on this blog. Tonight, I'm going to see them live for the 11th and last time. You can look at the tag on the bottom of this post, or you can read this to understand why I think they're so important, not just to me personally, but to Canada as a whole.
But you might wonder why someone would see the same band so many times. I know I used to wonder that. Once, twice, maybe even three times, sure. But why go see the same thing?
On top of seeing them tour new material, I've never been disappointed by a Hip show. I've heard "Blow at High Dough" a million times and seen it done live many times and it's never not a thrill.
A large part of that is that Gord Downie is a consummate performer. He'll jitter across the stage in a way that only he can (see this helpful infographic). He'll ramble a half-thought out story. He'll sweat profusely. He'll sell you on The Tragically Hip.
One song that illustrates that point for me is "The Depression Suite," a lengthy song with three distinct sections from 2009's We Are the Same (possibly my favourite post-2000 Hip album). I has the good fortune of seeing them do three consecutive shows on the tour for that album (thanks to the wonderful Ms. E). I liked the album a lot, but "The Depression Suite" hadn't grown on me yet.
Seeing Downie sing that song, seeing the obvious fun he was having strutting around, singing lyrics like "I would sell a giraffe and I'd give you half, just to occupy my time."
I wish there was a better video I could post, since it doesn't quite capture the magic of being there in person, but it's always been worth it, I promise. And I'm sure it will be one final time. Bring on the requisite strangeness.