Saturday, February 14, 2015

Tragically Hip Live in Edmonton Feb.12th 2015

On Thursday night my Sweetie Janis, our friend Erin and I went to the Tragically Hip concert here in Edmonton at Rexall Place. The Hip are on tour for the re-release of their 1992 classic album Fully Completely, in which the band were performing in its entirety. Why the band were doing this is beyond me. You would think they would wait til the 25th anniversary, but nonetheless, that is what this tour was about.

This was my 15th time seeing the band in concert, and as always I was looking forward to seeing what the hell lead singer Gord Downie's antics would be like this time. Because you never know what kind of show you will get from him.

There were a few let downs for this show. Starting with the start time of the show. On the ticket, it said 8pm start. There was no opening band for this tour, so we made sure to be there before 8pm. Only to have to wait until 9pm for the band to hit the stage. I guess a DJ spinning records is an opening slot. That sucked, ya the tunes played were good, but if I want to listen to records for an hour, I would have stayed home and had a few more cheap beers and played my own damn music.

When the Hip did hit the stage to a crowd of about 13,000, they opened with the a wicked version of Grace Too from the album Day For Night then doing four more songs before doing the Fully Completely album. Only one new song on this night (Transformation) from their latest release Now For Plan A, the song sounded much better live then on record. After the first five songs it was into the album Fully Completely. What bugs me about these kind of shows when a band does an album in its entirety is the lack of surprise for a live show, as your know the sequence of the next ten songs or how ever long the album is. Don't get me wrong, I love that album and they played it awesome. Though there was no surprises in it, they played pretty much as you would hear it on record. There were no jams through the songs, which The Hip are known to do live, and the biggest bummer, no rants and tangents from Gord Downie. That is one of my biggest pleasures of seeing The Hip live is hearing what Gord is going to go on about. Although a lot of times, you never know what it is he is going on about, but anyone that has heard his tangent with Killer Whale Tank, knows what I am saying. But on this night, there was none of this from Gordie. And, as much as Gord was entertaining with his weird Gord dance shuffle, he wasn't as animated as usual. No fights with the microphone stand, not as much improvising with his handkerchief and lyrics, he actually kept it pretty simple on this night. Which is too bad. One thing I didn't miss, was Gord playing the guitar, none of that during this show, which is cool, cause I always think it takes away from the weirdness of Gord's performance. The band was their usual solid and tight.

After doing Fully Completely, it was another five songs from the rest of their catalog. One of the songs that surprised me and a song you don't hear live very often is the song Twist My Arm from the excellent album Road Apples. They then ended the show with the song Blow At High Dough, a great way to end a wicked night of music. All and all a great show, just a little tame compared to many of the other shows I have seen by The Tragically Hip. Good times!!!

Janis and I.

The Tragically Hip in Edmonton at Rexall Place.

Setlist from Edmonton show.

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