By Stan Ashbee
Southern Alberta Newspapers
It was anything but tragic Tuesday night when one of Canada’s premiere live bands from Kingston, ON The Tragically Hip hit the Enmax Centre Stage in Lethbridge. In fact, the show was downright immaculate, thanks to the poetic vocal stylings of the band’s Gord Downie — as the band performed all the tracks off their “Fully Completely” album in their entirety. Southern Alberta rock fans love The Hip, their songs and their back-to-back songlist of Canadiana hits. There’s nothing more Canadian — sitting at an arena in the dead of winter on a cold, dark Tuesday night listening to one of Canada’s signature live bands. One soon forgets the amount of hits off the “Fully Completely” album which includes “Courage,” “Looking For A Place To Happen,” “At the Hundreth Meridian,” “Pigeon Camera,” “Locked In the Trunk Of A Car,” “Fully Completely,” “Fifty Mission Cap,” “Wheat Kings,” and “Eldorado.”
Downie is a showman, first and foremost. At every live show he delivers his eccentric style of grace, as he segued into each and every musical selection without a word — as the music itself told the tales. The band, as a whole, is at home on the stage — a fan could tell from the very first song until the very last. Each musician lending a hand at making The Hip Experience, an unforgettable night for those in the front row to the very back of the venue.
Another interesting note about the show is it was stated on the video screen the current tour is 100 per cent Bullfrog green-energized, which is great news to hear.
Opening for The Hip, was Brendan Canning. Canning, also an award-winning musician, spent time playing DJ and live-mixed vinyl records for the first part of the evening, as fans socialized before the show.
All-in-all, the night did not disappoint. For those long-time fans of the band, for those just finding out about the band’s Canadian prominence on the Canadian and international music scene or for those yet to be Hip-notized — The Tragically Hip live show is a must-see, at some point, in a rock music fan’s life.