Trying to gather thoughts on seeing The Hip live Thursday in Ottawa and watching the final show on CBC is proving difficult. They both had different feelings for me. In Ottawa at the show I was singing along with Gord Downie and celebrating the music and the memories it conjured up from my late high school years and college days. Knowing Gord was battling brain cancer and choosing to live rather than sit quietly and battle reminded me a lot of my father, who lost his battle with cancer almost 2 years ago now. Both men not dwelling on what may come but focused on the now, focused on positives. Sharing moments with us we can cherish for years.
The CBC show gave me a more up close look at just how courageous Gord really is battling through a 3 hour show, missing some lyrics and constantly looking at a monitor to remind him of the lyrics, many of which he wrote. This performance was very inspiring and was full of pure emotion. There were many moments where those emotions ran high, where he seemed to lose himself in personal reflection, or just soaking in that potential final show.
Those screams at the end of Grace Too felt and sounded like he was letting absolutely everything out. I have chills just writing about it.
Everyone’s experience whether live or through the CBC will be different. We all connect to certain songs a bit differently. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to see both the live show and the televised “final” concert.
One thing I know for sure is that we’ll all listen to our favourite Hip song(s) a lot differently from now on.
Thanks for everything Gordie!