That (Third) Night in Toronto

“The next time we play here,” said the Gord, and it was the best moment of the tour so far.


  • Blow at High Dough
  • New Orleans is Sinking
  • Opiated
  • Boots or Hearts
  • Machine (Gord sang “Machine” with the same expression, someplace between grim resolve and pathetic mime, he’s worn the entire tour; by the way, if you haven’t listened to the album Man Machine Poem yet, it’s time you did)
  • What Blue
  • Ocean Next
  • In a World Possessed By the Human Mind
  • Streets Ahead
  • We Want To Be It (54 “drip”s this evening)
  • Man Machine Poem
  • At Transformation
  • Gift Shop
  • Flamenco
  • Springtime in Vienna
  • Ahead by a Century
  • The Last of the Unplucked Gems
  • Three Pistols
  • Twist My Arm
  • Long Time Running
  • Little Bones

1st Encore:

  • Escape is at Hand for the Travellin’ Man
  • Poets
  • Bobcaygeon (Gord flubbed “that night in Toronto”)

2nd Encore:

  • Daredevil
  • Grace, Too

I’ve long been of the opinion that this tour isn’t the end of the Tragically Hip: I don’t think they’ll do large-scale tours anymore, but I’m optimistic they’ll play one-offs as long as Gord Downie’s health (or that of any of its other members, for that matter) allows. Gord’s line reinforced that. It might’ve been off-the-cuff. It might’ve just been a typical Gordism. It might’ve been a cancer patient keeping his head up in the face of unimaginable circumstances. It might’ve been a combination of all three. If this is it then these shows were a worthy coda; Friday’s was one of the absolute best concerts I’ve ever seen. But the band that walked off the stage at the ACC last night didn’t look like it was walking into the sunset. It looked like a band moving on to the final dates of its latest tour – Hamilton tomorrow, Ottawa Thursday, Kingston Saturday – and promising, to the best of its ability given the circumstances, to see what tomorrow brings.

That’s what I choose to think, at least.

I’ll be at the Kingston show Saturday: years of good ticket-buying manifested themselves in a single ten rows from the stage. I have no idea what to expect. I’m excited; I’m nervous. No matter what, I’d imagine it’ll be one of the most special nights in my life – not just as music fan, but in general.


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