OK, I’ll admit it: I’m not a Tragically Hip fan. Hold your boos. Crumple up the paper and throw it at the ground. Actually, don’t, there’s some other good stuff to read in here. But I did become a fan for a few hours last weekend.
The widely hyped final performance of the group with Gord Downie leading the way was emotional for the band and concertgoers alike. And thanks to the CBC broadcasting the show across multiple-channels millions of people around the world were technically concertgoers.
You’ll recall Downie had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and the group’s tour would be its last.
The concert was an opportunity for me to connect with other viewers on Twitter. It was through back and forth tweets I really understood how connected not only Canadians but music lovers around the world were/are to the group.
A couple of times during the three-hour performance I did a rollcall asking people to chime in and tell me where in the world they were watching the show. For every five people in Canada there was at least one viewer in the U.S. and even as far away as New Zealand and Australia.
While an Aussie told me the group hadn’t toured there since he’s live in the country, one of the tweeters was from Canada and said he brought The Hip music with him and introduced it to a whole new audience on the other side of the world.
Truth by told, even though I only knew three of the songs that were performed last weekend, I somehow got into the music and tapped my feet and sang along much to the glares of my wanting-to-be-sleeping dogs. Somehow the emotion of the night got the best of me and I suddenly became a singing fan in the audience.
A couple of times my eyes watered just as Downie’s did along with people in the same room as him. The raw emotion transmitted through TVs, computer screens, tablets and cellphones brought together complete strangers whether they’d been following the rockers for decades or could barely recite the words to three songs.
So, yes, for one night I became a Hipster (not a favourable name when used on Twitter) but we bonded over great Canadian music that will live on in hearts around the world for a long time to come.
By the way: I did tweet the prime minister asking if Aug. 20 could be a national holiday since he is a fan and was at the concert. He didn’t answer. But stay tuned.