The Hip played a high energy show to a sold out State Theater in Detroit. The crowd pulsed with every beat the band played. Gord D. gyrated across the stage and feed off the reaction he got from his singing and dancing. He kept wandering to stage left where the fans were particularly into Gord’s performance. They were singing along and reaching out to him.
I was so impressed with The Hip’s performance. Every member was showcasing the talents they posses. Gord D. brought us along on his roller coaster ride with great singing, dancing and his uncanny ability to act out his emotions. Rob was on fire with blazing solos. Downie announced during the show that Happy Birthday wishes go out to Robbie on this day. Gord also said Rob shared his birthday with David Cassidy. (I’m sure there was an inside joke there). Paul was solid with his own leads and backing vocals. Gord Sinclair was plucking his bass and getting some incredible twangs. He really sounded good. I was most impressed with Johnnie Fay. His drum play was unassuming, yet powerful at the same time. I think the Bob Rock influence on Johnnie’s playing is noticable. John told me himself after the show that he has found a new groove. He played his stripped down Yamaha drum set so loud, but with great ease.
The show had many highlights. The set list included nice suprizes such as Thugs and Long Time Running. During Family Band a crowd surfer made it over the barrier with his pants well below his bare ass. Gord S. and Robbie got a good laugh from that. Nautical Disaster was good with Gord paddling himself across the stage into the end speaker stack. During Springtime a bra was thrown and landed in front of Rob. Gord eventually found it and sniffed it warily. He began running back and forth across the stage waving it behind him. He eventually tossed it back into the crowd. He then casually walked over to Sinclair and wiped his brow with his white hanky. 100th Meridian was awesome with Gord boxing his mikestand and throwing it high into the air three times. It was bent and battered when he was done with it. He straightened it out and crouched down leaning against the base. He leaned back on the mikestand at a 45 degree angle. He was using it like a rocking chair. He put his hanky over his face and “fell asleep” while Robbie played esoteric riffs on his guitar. Gord began spinning with his blindfold over his face. He eventually jumped up and ranted about dreaming he was spinning.
During Fully, Completely Gord was twirling his mike and cord ala Roger Daltry style. He began twirling it horizontally, letting it wrap around his neck like a tetherball on a pole. The mike would strike his neck and he would reverse it the other way. He did it numerous times. He ended the song using his hanky like the tail on a rooster/peacock.
The encore was fantastic. During Don’t Wake Daddy, Gord and Paul sang different lyrics at the same time. Gord went over to Paul and stuck his mike in Paul’s ear and sung loudly while Paul sang his own lyrics. Gord was trying to mess up Paul. Paul was laughing, but kept his part straight. This was followed by Black Day in July. The song was great even though Gord had to read portions of the lyrics. The show ended with On the Verge. Johnnie increased the beat 10 times to end the song. He was flailing wildly and came to a sudden stop.
After the show we were invited to meet Robbie, Paul and John at the Greektown Casino for a few birthday drinks. We had a great time chatting with the guys. Paul told me how he became a band member. I knew some of the story already, but he gave me some great background on how things happened. I like all the guys, but Robbie has always been especially nice to me and my wife Carolyn. He spoke to everyone while playing video poker. Johnnie, Billy Ray, The Hip’s manager and Rick, the head of security, were hanging out too. Paul paid me a nice compliment and told me I was one of the most intense Hip fans he has met throughout his years of playing. He hoped my interest in the the band would continue. With experiences like this….you know it will.