Hip Concert – I have something in my eye…

21 Aug

I was not expecting this to be diehardthree.com‘s inaugural post (we just launched a few hours ago), but hey, life is full of surprises.

Like many of you I just finished watching the live broadcast of the Tragically Hip’s final concert of their Man Machine Poem tour. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this band or their current situation, I’ll try to explain everything in one sentence.

The Tragically Hip is one of Canada’s most popular/well-known bands and earlier this year their frontman Gord Downie was diagnosed with brain cancer and they decided to launch a cross-Canada tour.

There are literally dozens of things I find interesting and fascinating and nostalgic about The Hip. Normally I would be more than happy to share all of them with you, but today I feel that brevity rules.

1. Most people outside of Canada have not heard of The Tragically Hip but within Canada they are probably our most recognizable musical act. If you look at all the main medias (mediums?) books, music, movies, television – Canada has produced a disproportionately large number of world-famous musical acts (while our contributions to the non-music entertainment industries are more inline with our size).

Just type “canaidan musicains” into Google – and look at that fucking list. You don’t even have to be able to spell.

In 2003 I was visiting a friend in Germany and we were driving to the Nord Sea (the sea, not the fast food restaurant). So we’re listening to the German commercial radio station and I shit you not, it was 15% CanCon. And it was like a two hour drive.

CanCon (or Canadian Content) is the government regulation that requires that something like 40% of the music on commercial radio in Canada has to be Canadian. It’s the reason that Canada has a world class music scene. It means our musicians can make a living working in their chosen profession.

Contrast that with the Canadian film industry does not have any such regulation – and if you will look over here, you will find the one-time highest grossing “Canadian” film.

Anyway, this is to put into perspective how popular these guys are – amongst all the internationally renowned musicians from Canada, within our borders, The Hip are very close to (at?) the top.

2. The CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company) – if they were a patron in a bar, I’d buy ’em a drink. And then after we’d finished those drinks, I’d buy another round. They hit one out of the park tonight. They shut down everything else to show us a 3-hour concert with no commercials and no talking heads.

And of all nights, the second-last night of the Olympics – taxpayer me does not want to know how much they bid for the rights to broadcast the games, but they sure as hell made the right call when they had to choose. I’m happy we have the CBC.

That’s all I have. Goodnight everyone.

2 Responses to “Hip Concert – I have something in my eye…”

  1. Mark H August 22, 2016 at 04:51 #

    Great read Jason! Absolutely agree with your take on the Hip, and the CBC’s decision to broadcast their final? concert. Third round is on me. 🙂

    • Chapman August 22, 2016 at 10:26 #

      I also agree that it was a pretty cool thing for CBC to choose this direction over the olympics. One thing to add since it would seem you skirted the emotional impact of the thing: it was a pretty unique collective experience for people all over the country to voluntarily submit to something long and joyful and heartbreaking and nostalgic and sad. People will remember where they were when that concert happened.

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