Could Anyone Do For the U.S. What The Tragically Hip Did For Canada?

21st August 2016 No comments

hip-on-stage.jpg.size.custom.crop.1086x725We may be coming off the heels of the Olympic games but The Tragically Hip’s farewell show brought Canada together far more than any athletic event ever could. After the band announced in May that lead singer Gord Downie had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, the band decided to embark on a final tour which they hoped to be their best ever. Last night was the final show of a 30+ year career and the entire country rallied behind its band. The CBC, Canada’s national public radio and television network, broadcast the show and streamed it live without interruption. Cinemas, town halls, city centers, universities, bars, pizza places, music venues, and numerous other venues hosted screening parties across Canadian provinces so people could commiserate and rejoice as their favorite band signed off.

It got me wondering; is there an American band, artist, or performer who would have this kind of impact on our culture if they were to bid farewell? The closest I could think of would be Prince, whose death certainly brought many music fans together, but Prince was a global phenomenon. The Tragically Hip, while hugely in respected songwriting and musician circles, in terms of large-scale pop culture, for whatever reason, they never struck as big as they deserved to. They remained very much insular to Canada, which I think Canada loved. Madonna is much like Prince and is very much a global act. I can’t think of any U.S. artists who are beloved here and only here. Artists the entire country would rally behind to the point we would nationally televise their farewell show, our President would be in attendance, and the country as a whole would be discussing it.

Can you think of anyone who would unite the U.S., or your particular country in such a way? What a truly beautiful thing. What a wonderful gift Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip have given fans to and their country.

Go HERE if you’d like to make a donation to the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research.

Check out some of the beautiful tweets from last night:

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