Tragically Hip lead singer Gord Downie says goodbye in his hometown
- Author: Leroy Wright Aug 31, 2016,
Aug 31, 2016, 7:12
The Hip came out for a double encore throughout the tour, and Saturday night was no different, performing hits "Nautical Disaster", "Scared", and "Grace, Too".
Known in Canada simply as The Hip, the band is on what is expected to be their final tour with Downie, 52, who announced his illness in May.
Unfortunately, daylight made it hard to view the screen at Lakeside.
Thank you, Gord Downie, for giving our country something that is at once shared with the rest of the world but ours alone to understand fully.
Downie said on stage: "Well, you know, Prime Minister Trudeau's got me, his work with First Nations (indigenous people)".
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended the performance, which was broadcast live nationwide.
Decked out in a silver metallic leather suit, taupe hat with feathers and his now famous JAWS T-shirt (some people in the crowd had their own version of Downie's ensemble), the singer seemed to forget a few words to Courage but no one seemed to care.
At one point, Downie was overcome with emotion and teared up. "[But] we're going to get it fixed and we got the guy to do it, to start, to help".
Trudeau could be seen in the audience nodding and mouthing "thank you".
Downie has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, and fans across Canada and overseas gathered at viewing parties to tune in and bid him farewell. A number of towns played the show in front of their City Hall buildings, with more than 30,000 people reportedly congregating for the event.
Around 19 pm, the Prime Minister and Gord Downie, a cancer of the brain terminally ill, were given a heartfelt hug that was captured in an image repeatedly relayed on social media.
He says the Hip are the ultimate Canadian band and the performance Saturday will leave more of a lasting impression than the band has already left Canada.
The Hip then segued into songs from their last album, "Man Machine Poem", before running through tracks from "Music @ Work", "Road Apples", "Phantom Power", "Up To Here", "Day For Night" and "Trouble at the Henhouse".
A slew of singles became radio fixtures, while their 14 albums nabbed numerous awards.
Canadians Abroad of Southern California was to have a viewing party in Los Angeles.
Later, basking in adulation, no longer feeling the need, he let them flow freely.
Loplops also held a live screening downtown.
Group pictures and selfies were taken with family and friends as many in Bobcaygeon wanted to remember this special Canadian moment.