It honestly feels a little strange attending a Kanye West concert in 2016, even for someone who has been to all of his tours, including the not-yet-famous rapper's "College Dropout" jaunt a dozen years ago when he brought along a huge live band led by also not-yet-famous pianist John Legend.
While more fashionable bands have faded into musical footnotes, the Hip has enjoyed a 32-year career and domestic deification. But now the part of their name that has the most resonance as the Hip rocks its way across the nation one final time is "tragically." Not that you could tell from the surface euphoria onstage and in the stands as Gord Downie's incurable brain cancer took a backseat for a couple hours of communal rock catharsis during the band's 25-song concert at Toronto's Air Canada Centre.
The whole country came together. Not since Terry Fox have we seen such a strong example of how a Canadian could summon so much national camaraderie among the people.... All we had to do was sing along to songs we knew by heart, allow ourselves to feel the moment, let our tears express how we felt, let our fellow Canadians know we were all in this together, and then, as a nation, say goodbye to Gord Downie. The best part is we will never really say goodbye to The Tragically Hip. As long as we have kids, camping trips, road trips, backyard barbecues, headphones and private moments, we will never have to say goodbye.
Certainly, there are bands that are more famous, have sold more albums and put on bigger shows, but you'd be hard-pressed to find one that captured a country's attention -- at least 11.7 million of us, according to CBC -- like The Hip did that night in Kingston.
It has been a stressful summer with a seemingly non-stop barrage of police shootings and shot police, terror attacks and terrible Trump. Even during the ride up to the Burl's Creek event grounds, there was the mass shooting in Munich. The world right now is a scary place, and WayHome provided refuge.
The CBC's decision to air the Tragically Hip's farewell concert Saturday was a stroke of public broadcasting genius. Better than almost any event one could imagine, it demonstrated the power of a national public broadcaster to bring a nation together to celebrate its shared values, to honour its prodigies, to connect.
When Drake strutted into the ACC arena on August 1, dressed all in black with an OVO shirt and a beard, he wasn't just the biggest star onstage or even the biggest rapper in hip hop. Drake can legitimately claim to be the biggest star in music and so he invited the only others operating at his level this year.
Today's ticket purchasing landscape is a classic example of how technology can disrupt business and create regulatory and ethical grey areas -- and decision-makers can't keep up with the disruption or implement solutions fast enough.
Canadian country singer/songwriter Rod Black is no neophyte to the country music scene. Black was born in Winnipeg with country music in his veins where he grew up listening to classic country stars such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings.
There's just something about successful women that we love to tear down, especially when they're revealed to not be as perfect as they present themselves to be. So, Taylor lied about discussing a few lyrics. Burn her to the ground. Chris Brown beat up Rihanna. Buy millions of his albums. Woody Allen allegedly molested his young daughter. Give him all the Oscars. The fact of the matter is, celebrities lie to protect themselves all the time. This isn't new. But when a successful woman lies? Oof. We better take her down a peg or two and try to ruin her career.
I didn't want to think about a Canada without Gord Downie. So when the texts and emails rolled in, I reverted to pragmatism. I thought instead about the band's last tour and how difficult it will be to snag tickets. I told co-workers that The Tragically Hip are magic in concert.
The night of the performance is one that will be etched in my mind forever. As Amanda, you always dreamed of being on a big stage surrounded by lights and music. In the performance piece called "My Name is Amanda Todd," that is what happened.
I love your music, your concerts mostly (such fun, wild shows) and man I never thought that you would become one of those spreaders of fear. Fox, Trump, all those guys.
"Tales of Two Cities: The Leipzig-Damascus Coffee House" revolved around the central role of the coffee house in the worlds of both 18th Century Leipzig and Damascus, uncovering cross-cultural influences between two cities which sit 3000 km. apart.
Feel good sadness. Nostalgia music. Quintessentially Canadian. That's what the Tragically Hip was to us when we were in high school in the 90s. Gord Downie's voice was omnipresent, whether it was a bush party, a school dance, on the way to a buddy's cottage, or at the cottage having a few beers and sitting on the dock.
Wherefore art thou, then, Shoegazing? Well, despite innate protestations to the contrary, music requires pigeon holes. Music journos need pigeon holes as a convenient shorthand, record junkies crave pigeon holes, almost certainly more than pigeons do. So, what do we have?