“We’ve seen older bands go on the road for a final tour, but this kind of finality, I can’t think of a band that has done this.”
News from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario
Posted May 25th, 2016 on Niagara At Large
St. Catharines, Ontario – A Brock University professor says the farewell tour about to be embarked on by Tragically Hip and lead singer Gord Downie will be “off the scale.”
The band and it’s legendary frontman Downie have played a pivotal role in the history of Canadian music, says Brock Communication Pop Culture and Film associate professor Scott Henderson.
The reaction across the country to Tuesday’s (May 24th, 2016) news that Downie has an incurable brain tumour has been that of complete shock. The 52 year old first noticed symptoms in December and has been receiving treatment ever since.
Unfortunately, Downie’s neurologist at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto said Tuesday the singer’s tumour is one of the most aggressive forms of brain cancer and the diagnosis is terminal.
Henderson said the Tragically Hip have left an indelible mark on Canadian music.
“I kind of wonder what we would have without them,” he said. “Downie’s lyrics and his ability to impart Canadiana into his music … it took that rock blues style and focused it in on interpreting and representing Canada.”
Tragically Hip said in a statement it intends to go on tour in Canada and that it will announce the schedule Wednesday morning.
Henderson said that type of final tour is unprecedented, and he expects ticket demand to be massive.
“We’ve seen older bands go on the road for a final tour, but this kind of finality, I can’t think of a band that has done this, where there is this certainty to it,” he says. “I really don’t know if it’s going to be maudlin or celebratory. But the reception will be rapturous.”
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