One thing’s for sure: Calgary’s festival organizers know how to pick headliners who are true performers. This Gord Downie character sure knows how to work a stage.
But first, let’s backtrack a second. I’m no Tragically Hip connoisseur by any means; I know Poets is the video with the cats and Ahead By A Century is that one that Much played a lot the year it came out (yes children, there was a time when we played videos by The Hip). Alas, there are few other Hip songs I can name or recite – but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the legendary Canadian band when they’re mere feet in front of me. Aaaaaaand I did.
Sometimes a performer is a PERFORM-AIRE. Sometimes they just give it to you in all facets of stage prowess. And sometimes Gord Downie comes along and chews on a kleenex and acts like a primate right in front of your face. No, seriously – he played monkey for a short while. And he twirled and jumped and kicked his mic stand; he posed and skulked and jammed and saaaaaaang. When you’ve got a camera in your hand, this kind of stage presence is gold. I was laughing and snapping away, grinning ear to ear.
Alas, I cannot tell you their set list, on account of the aforementioned lack of Hip knowledge – but if you were there, leave a comment relaying what you remember, and I’ll share it with the peoples. Alls I knows is that the open venue was more packed than I had seen it all weekend; all eyes and ears were glued to a band that truly knows how to put on a show. And Gord is a maniac (in the best possible way)!