Downie calls out to Trudeau during Tragically Hip’s final show of tour

Tragically Hip kick off tour's final show with fan favourites

KINGSTON, Ont. — The Tragically Hip mixed fan favourites, newer songs and some politics on Saturday night during the final show of their “Man Machine Poem” tour.

Lead singer Gord Downie, who started the show wearing a metallic silver suit and hat with a “Jaws” T-shirt underneath, hugged and kissed his bandmates before they stepped on stage at the K-Rock Centre in the group’s hometown of Kingston, Ont.

Minutes earlier, as the raucous sold-out crowd waited for the band to emerge, an impromptu rendition of O Canada broke out and a banner reading “Thank You Prime Minister Downie!” was passed around the arena.

The band immediately gave fans what they wanted to hear, starting their set with four straight hits from the classic album “Fully Completely:” opener “50 Mission Cap,” followed by “Courage (for Hugh MacLennan),” “Wheat Kings” and “At the Hundredth Meridian.”

The Hip then segued into their latest album “Man Machine Poem,” with four tracks including the single “In a World Possessed by the Human Mind.”

Before “Machine,” Downie launched into one of his trademark onstage rants, calling out to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was in the crowd for the show. Trudeau’s official photographer tweeted a photo of the prime minister and Downie embracing before the concert.

“Well, you know, prime minister Trudeau’s got me, his work with First Nations. He’s got everybody. He’s going to take us where we need to go,” Downie said from the stage.

“It’s going to take us 100 years to figure out what the hell went on up there,” he continued, “but it isn’t cool and everybody knows that. It’s really, really bad, but we’re going to figure it out, you’re going to figure it out.”

Many anticipate this will be the band’s final tour, given the recent news that Downie is battling terminal brain cancer.

Before performing the “Road Apples” song “Fiddler’s Green,” Downie seemed to reference the outpouring of support from fans in the wake of his diagnosis.

“Thank you, people, for keeping me pushing and keeping me pushing,” he said, which prompted a “Gordie!” chant from the audience.

After playing 21 songs, Downie and his fellow bandmates — guitarists Rob Baker and Paul Langlois, bassist Gord Sinclair and drummer Johnny Fay — embraced and prepared to retire for a pre-encore break. Downie was left alone on stage to take in the roaring ovation.

After returning for a few more songs, Downie again spoke about his fondness for Trudeau.

“Thank you to the prime minister for coming to our show, it really means a lot to all of us,” he said.

“We’re in good hands, folks, real good hands. He cares about the people way up North, that we were trained our entire lives to ignore, trained our entire lives to hear not a word of what’s going on up there. And what’s going on up there ain’t good. It’s maybe worse than it’s ever been, so it’s not on the improve. (But) we’re going to get it fixed and we got the guy to do it, to start, to help.

“Thank you everybody. Thanks for listening to that. Thanks for listening, period. Have a nice life.”

David Friend, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

AltaGas hires mostly local for construction of its propane terminal

More than 61 per cent of construction workforce for Ridley terminal is from North Coast contractors

UPDATE: Pedestrian hit at crosswalk released from hospital

A 49-year-old man was struck by a vehicle on Second Avenue West on Friday night

IIO decides that Prince Rupert officer did not use excessive force in arrest of drunk man

IIO found that the RCMP officer unintentionally broke a man’s arm while taking him into custody

LIVE FEED: Charles Hays Secondary School soccer team playing Hugh McRoberts

The Rainmakers are currently down 0-3 in the second half

McKay Street Park ready to start playground construction

Council approved Transition Prince Rupert’s use of city property at the Nov. 14 council meeting

2017 Kaien Island Craft Fair highlights

One hundred tables displayed the arts and crafts of the local community.

CONTEST: Send us your Hammy photos to win a free T-shirt

Submit your best Hammy the deer photo by Nov. 30 to be entered to win

Canadians are getting bad advice from the taxman

An auditor has found that Canadians are getting bad advice from the taxman, when they can get through

B.C. mining company stakes claim in Australia

Copper Mountain is set to purchase Cloncurry Copper Project in a $93-million deal.

B.C. reporter reflects on covering Charles Manson

Charles Manson, leader of a murderous cult, died on Sunday at 83

ICBC overbilling for crash repairs not the problem, dealers say

Collision repair shops reject union claim of inflated costs

B.C. groups to address child sex abuse in sports

viaSport is organizing a full day of education in association with Canadian Centre for Child Protection and the Coaching Association of Canada.

Report sets exercise guidelines for young kids, including ‘tummy time’ for babies

Kids aged one to four should get at least three hours of physical activity throughout the day

Stampeders return to Grey Cup with 32-28 win over Edmonton Eskimos

The Stampeders will face the Toronto Argonauts next Sunday in Ottawa for the title

Most Read