Halifax, The Daily News

Halifax, The Daily News: Entertainment | Hip’s Downie shimmies and shakes like a goofy Mick Jagger
He squiggles. Then he squirms, then he … what? Would you call that a shimmy?

Gordon Downie, frontman for beloved Canadian rockers The Tragically Hip, is his usual eccentric self in front of about 9,000 fans last night at the Metro Centre. The Hip mix songs from last year’s World Container CD with their older material, all brought to life by Downie uninhibited.

Wearing a cap, white T-shirt and black pants, he’s an entertaining sight: parading around the stage immersed in his music, yet still bringing everyone into his world.

Downie’s got to be the best mime in rock ‘n’ roll.

During concert-opener The Lonely End of the Rink, he waves a white handkerchief while skidding across the stage like Mick Jagger (trade the sexiness for goofiness). Downie then pretends his microphone is stuck in his heart, playfully going into the audience and getting a fan to pull it out.

Now he’s pulling his heart out, tossing it in the air and shooting it during Grace, Too. He’s looking into the crowd during Courage, crossing the stage as if he’s in a canoe and the microphone stand is a paddle.

Here’s a good one: while the band rocks away on Fully Completely, Downie scurries like a monkey, causing one couple in Section 10 to exchange bemused glances.

But Downie’s at his best when his prop is an acoustic guitar, which it is a good part of the night:
“New Orleans Is Sinking!” he screams before attacking the strings and launching into the second song of the night.
“You’re Not the Ocean … yet,” he warns.

“No dress rehearsal,” he sings, strumming away to Ahead By a Century. “This is our life.”

Cue the crowd roar.