Sunday, 21 August 2016

Tragically Hip: Dying singer Gord Downie bids Canada farewell

Gord Downie performing on 10 AugustImage copyrightINVISION/AP
Image captionGord Downie is known for his flashy outfits as well as deep lyrics
A Canadian band whose lead singer was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer have performed their last concert at the end of an emotional farewell tour.
The Tragically Hip drew a sell-out crowd to the last show in Kingston, Ontario, on Saturday, broadcast live across Canada.
PM Justin Trudeau, who was at the live show, said the band had "been writing Canada's soundtrack for over 30 years".
Lead singer Gord Downie, 52, announced his illness in May.
The news caused shock across Canada.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation called Mr Downie the country's "unofficial poet laureate".
The Globe and Mail newspaper reported that the 15-stop Man Machine Poem tour "left a trail of heartbreak but also celebration across the nation".
Mr Trudeau tweeted after the concert that the band would be "forever in our hearts and playlists".
He also tweeted a picture of himself writing on a wall of messages to what he dubbed "Canada's band".
Tweet reads: The whole country is here in Kingston tonight! To say thanks, to say goodbye, to celebrate Canada's band. Photo shows Trudeau writing the same thing on a wall of messagesImage copyright@JUSTINTRUDEAU

Who are The Tragically Hip?

The Tragically Hip performing under spotlights during their last tour. 10 August 2016Image copyrightINVISION/AP
Formed in the 1980s, the blues and rock band penned lyrics which explicitly referenced Canadian life, with a small-town charm that won the country over.
They started as a college band working the local circuit and then took off, but their success across 14 albums was mostly confined to within Canada.
Known simply as The Hip to many Canadians, their songs became part of a national identity.

Kingston designated Saturday as The Tragically Hip Day in honour of its local heroes.
The Kingston concert was broadcast on Canadian TV and was shown at hundreds of public screenings across the country in bars and outdoor venues.
"There is a Canadianness that runs through them to the point where new citizens should be given a Tragically Hip CD after they take the oath," said Alan Cross, a radio show host and music historian.
The final concert, at the Rogers K-Rock Centre, sold out in minutes.
crowds pack out a square in Kingston, Ontario, on 20 August 2016Image copyrightTHE CANADIAN PRESS/ AP
Image captionFans who could not get tickets for the final show piled into downtown Kingston to see it broadcast live
Topics to do with the concert trended on Canadian social media on Saturday.
Dear World, please be advised that Canada will be closed tonight - have a tragically hip dayImage copyright@TORONTOPOLICE
Image captionToronto Police were expecting to be happily distracted
Tweet reads: We will talk about this show in hushed tones for years to comeImage copyright@ALANCROSS
Feeling very privileged to be Canadian this evening. This thing is truly ours and that's pretty special. #TheHipImage copyright@LAUREN_COLLINS
Tweet reads: Thank you Gord. Thank you for making a difference and bringing a country together like we only thought hockey could. #classImage copyright@JIMDECARLE

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