Tragically Hip fans celebrated a bittersweet night in London.
Thousands of fans filled Budweiser Gardens for the iconic Canadian band’s last ever performance in the Forest City.
Over 9,000 fans cheered when the band took the stage at 8:30 p.m., starting with ‘Opiated’ and ending hours later with ‘Fiddlers Green,’ a tribute to frontman Gord Downie’s nephew, who passed away at the age of 5.
The concert became the hottest ticket of the summer after the band announced the tour would be their last due to Downie’s terminal brain cancer diagnosis.
Sherrie Rains, co-host of the Taz Show on FM96, told AM980 it was a night people will never forget.
“The crowd was absolutely on fire, everybody was standing the entire time. There were quite a few tears as well, a lot of people weeping throughout the night which wasn’t a surprise given the circumstances, so it was definitely an emotional show.”
The crowd started gathering downtown hours before the concert began with fans lining up to buy merchandise and attend a pre-party at Covent Garden Market Square.
Rains said The Hip are a truly Canadian band.
“They are the ultimate Canadian band. They’re one of those bands that can resonate with pretty much everybody. There’s a song that everybody likes, it takes them to their days at the cottage or their trip across the country. Everybody plays The Hip, it’s in us all.”
The 14-time Juno winners will now play three nights in Toronto starting Wednesday before heading to Hamilton, then up to Ottawa.
Their tour will end in their hometown of Kingston on August 20th.
A day full of music and celebration is being planned in London to mark the Tragically Hip’s final show on their “Man Machine Poem” summer tour.
Fans of the band are invited to attend ‘Long Time Running’ on Saturday August 20th at London Music Hall. The event was organized in collaboration with Tourism London and London’s Best Rock FM96.
Evening programming will begin at 4p.m. and include regional emerging artists performing Tragically Hip songs leading up to the CBC’s stream of the Kingston show.
Admission will be free, but fans will be encouraged to make donations at the door. All of money collected will be donated to the Sunnybrook Foundation on behalf of fund raising efforts the band is making on their final tour.