The Tragically Hip will be taking the stage at 8:30 but already lots of fans here waiting to get in, buying merchandise, riding a crescendo of anticipation that’s been building all day. Keith Vass reports live from the Save on Foods Memorial Centre.
Starting early this morning … one by one, fans lucky enough to get tickets have been coming by the arena to pick them up.
Dan Speechlui just flew in from Winnipeg, For one last chance to see the band he’s loved for decades
“it means a lot i’ve got really great memories of going to previous shows with friends and family and whatnot you know its canadiana so its really exciting.”
T-shirts and CDs have been selling fast, While others waited by the rear door, hoping for a chance to meet a hero.
“hoping gord downie sees us so he knows he’s got support across canada and that we love him and hopefully he’ll come out and sign our records and get to see him.”
gord has a primary brain tumour.
Hip Fans have been reeling since the news came in May that the Hip’s front man was facing a terminal cancer diagnosis.
After 30 years, 13 albums, and thousands of shows the band said they wanted to do one last tour.
Leading another legendary Canadian band Vancouver-based 54-40, that also brokeout in the early 80’s,
Neil Osborne remembers the first time he heard the Hip.
“I think we were on a tour bus and our manager … brought the cassette, remember those? And said you gotta hear this record it’s really good and we put it on and went Wow who are these guys?”
Over the years the bands have crossed paths and shared stages many times.
Osborne remembers the show in Saskatchewan where he first saw Downie’s showmanship shine.
“it was a bit raining, and spirit of the west went on and then we went on and the clouds broke like everytime we go on and then when the hip came on this big storm and gord was out there all this rain was going in his face and he was just taking on the storm you know like someting out of a greek fable and I was like gulp wow, i think i just saw one of the best shows I’ve ever seen and I became a huge fan of the music ever since.
Osborne says Downie’s cancer diagnosis hit the tight knit canadian music scene hard.
And many people in hit have flown to Victoria to be with the band tonight.
He expects the show will be emotional at times
But ultimately about one thing… music.
“Yeah i’m looking forward to seeing five guys doing what they do best, getting up there and just filling the air with their sound, and just everybody else get into it.”