A national applause rang out as Canadians watched the Tragically Hip’s final stop on their Man Machine Poem tour in their hometown of Kingston, Ont. Saturday night.
The concert got underway at 8:30 p.m. at the Rogers K-Rock Centre as the band opened with 50 Mission Cap. A few blocks away at Springer Market Square thousands of people gathered to watch a live broadcast of the show.
Meanwhile, Londoners gathered at the London Music Hall, as well as in Victoria Park, to take in the final show of the tour.
The band got into the hits with “Courage (For Hugh McLennan),” “At the Hundredth Meridian,” and “Wheat Kings” among others.
As they transitioned into their new album, Man Machine Poem, Downie called out to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was in the audience, and gave him a notable endorsement.
“Well, you know, Prime Minister Trudeau’s got me, his work with First Nations. He’s got everybody. He’s going to take us where we need to go,” he said. “It’s going to take us 100 years to figure out what the hell went on up there, but it isn’t cool and everybody knows that. It’s really, really bad, but we’re going to figure it out, you’re going to figure it out.”
On behalf of Canadians, I thank Gord Downie and the Hip for their decades of service to Canadian music. Forever in our hearts and playlists.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) August 21, 2016
At one point, Downie thanked the crowd for “keeping me pushing, and keeping me pushing.”
After 21 songs, the five band members took a pre-encore break and returned to a raucous applause to play some more.
Downie rewarded the audience with his patented dancing through “New Orleans is Sinking,” “Boots or Hearts,” and “Blow at High Dough.”
The Hip came out for a double encore throughout the tour, and Saturday night was no different, performing hits “Nautical Disaster,” “Scared,” and “Grace, Too.”
The Kingston crowd, and crowds at viewing parties across the country, could not be silenced at 11 p.m. when the band left the stage once again after thanking the audience.
They returned for a third encore, playing “Locked in the Trunk of a Car,” “Gift Shop,” and ending with “Ahead by a Century.”