Honest Rock n’ Roll Full of Hand Claps and Gang Vocals

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My relationship with the Tragically Hip’s probably needlessly complex, given that they’re still absolutely one of my favourite bands and making solid records (the latest of which, Now For Plan A, is great top-to-bottom). Late last year they embarked on a naked cash-grab in celebration of Fully Completely‘s 22nd anniversary (that’s right, it’s the copper anniversary!) replete with reissues, an arena tour, a wine…really, all that’s missing is Fully Completely leggings. (What’s that? Oh.) My schedule likely precludes me from seeing the tour–I know for certain I’ll be someplace in the Middle East when it passes through Calgary February 9–but I know I would see it if I could. I still might.

Anyway. I’ve now seen the Hip so many times I’ve begun losing count, and so I’m making a list. Most of these concerts were memorable, even if some of them were only memorably awful (see, for instance, Hamilton 2009). I can’t imagine I’ll ever see the Hip eight times in eight months again, like I did between June 23, 2006 and February 7, 2007, but as long as they keep touring I’ll keep checking in on them. Are we family or what?

  1. July 8, 2000: Apple Valley, MN – Minnesota State Zoo Amphitheatre (Yup, that’s a real place! My first-ever Hip show was in a venue that’s roughly as big as a mid-sized university lecture theatre.)
  2. December 3, 2000: Toronto, ON – Air Canada Centre
  3. October 21, 2001: Toronto, ON – Air Canada Centre (headlining Music Without Borders Live)
  4. July 11, 2002: Ottawa, ON – Festival Plaza (Ottawa Bluefest)
  5. October 15, 2002: Toronto, ON – Hummingbird Centre
  6. June 21, 2003: Toronto, ON – SkyDome (headlining Concert for Toronto)
  7. June 29, 2004: Toronto, ON – The Mod Club
  8. July 10, 2004: Ottawa, ON – Festival Plaza (Ottawa Bluefest; this show featured, among other things, the “Grace, Too” by which all other “Grace, Too”s is measured)
  9. September 12, 2004: Kingston, ON – Royal Military College (the Hip’s first hometown concert in almost ten years; ironically it happened three weeks after I moved away from Kingston)
  10. November 26, 2004: Toronto, ON – Air Canada Centre
  11. June 23, 2006: Toronto, ON – Historic Fort York
  12. June 24, 2006: Toronto, ON – Historic Fort York
  13. October 22, 2006: Toronto, ON – Phoenix Concert Theatre
  14. October 26, 2006: Toronto, ON – Phoenix Concert Theatre
  15. January 22, 2007: Thunder Bay, ON – Fort William Gardens (“They shot a movie once in your hometown…”)
  16. January 31, 2007: Oshawa, ON – General Motors Centre
  17. February 2, 2007: Kanata, ON – Scotiabank Place
  18. February 7, 2007: Toronto, ON – Air Canada Centre
  19. June 22, 2008: Calgary, AB – Fort Calgary (V-Fest West)
  20. September 19, 2009: Banff, AB – Eric Harvie Theatre
  21. September 21, 2009: Calgary, AB – Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
  22. October 2, 2009: Hamilton, ON (by far the worst of the twenty-six Hip shows I’ve seen)
  23. July 11, 2012: Calgary, AB – Fort Calgary
  24. January 22, 2013: Red Deer, AB – Enmax Centrium
  25. September 7, 2013: Calgary, AB – Shaw Millennium Park
  26. October 8, 2014: Toronto, ON – Yonge/Dundas Square (did you know Gord says the word “drip” sixty-one times in “We Want To Be It”? Tis true.)
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