EuroHip :: Day Seven (Amsterdam)

What a great way to end my part of EuroHip 2007! We had lunch at The Hard Rock Café, took in the Heineken Experience, and then got ready for the show… and what a great show it was!!! During the pre-show gear set-up session, we chatted amongst ourselves about songs that we really wanted to hear. Judging by the setlist it looks like The Hip were listening.

The energy inside Paradiso is unlike any other venue. The building is alive and the fans and performers are extremely charged up as a result. If you’ve never been, make a point of going. If you’ve been there before, you know what I am talking about!

01: The Lonely End Of The Rink
02: New Orleans Is Sinking
03: Inevitability Of Death
04: The Dire Wolf
05: Yer Not The Ocean
06: Ahead By A Century
07: In View
08: Courage (For Hugh Maclennan)
09: Nautical Disaster
10: Pretend
11: Fireworks
12: Locked In The Trunk Of A Car
13: Long Time Running
14: The Kids Don’t Get It
15: Fully Completely
16: Blow At High Dough

17: Family Band
18: COVER: “The Magnificent Seven” by The Clash
19: Fire In The Hole

The first week of EuroHip 2007 was a great success – Trevor C, Dave and myself are all back in Canada now while the rest of the crew are carrying on for the balance of the tour.

To all of the new friends we made along the way, and the old friends we reunited with, thank you for making this another great experience.

…now I’m off to start clearing hard drive space to make room for all the footage we recorded.

EuroHip :: Day Four (Groningen)

We awoke to the sound of church bells and the glow of a sunny day. After scarfing down all we could eat at the hotel breakfast bar, we headed out to explore Groningen. Almost all shops are closed on Sundays so the city was pretty quiet. Add to that the fact that there was a local football match and it made for an eerie quiet except for the sounds of people watching TV escaping from the windows of the homes along the main streets.

The afternoon was spent on a patio enjoying the sun, the beer, and some laughs about the previous nights activities.

01: The Lonely End Of The Rink
02: New Orleans Is Sinking
03: Fully Completely
04: It’s A Good Life If You Don’t Weaken
05: Yer Not The Ocean
06: Courage
07: Ahead By A Century
08: In View
09: Poets
10: World Container
11: Springtime In Vienna
12: At The Hundredth Meridian
13: The Kids Don’t Get It
14: Bobcaygeon
15: Fireworks
16: Blow At High Dough

17: Family Band
18: Grace, Too
19: My Music At Work

Good show in a smallish venue… with very few people. There was a big football match today so a lot of people spent it drinking and by time the show rolled around they either didn’t come, or were rather subdued in their actions.

Anywho… it was nice to meet/se again a few Hipbasers – Debbie, Naomi, Joanne, Mike and Paul!

Off to sleep, and then Amsterdam…

EuroHip :: Day Two (Astoria, London)

Whew! What a great way to kick off EuroHip 2007! We toured the city some more before heading back to our hotel to grab our recording gear. With our gear fully charged and packed we headed to the show. Surprisingly there wasn’t a line up at the venue, nor were there any issues getting our gear in.

The venue itself is rather plain with patrons required to navigate a series of somewhat confusing (or maybe I was just confused) staircases. I ended up along the front row of the balcony and was content to stay there for the duration of the show. The rest of the balcony area is punctuated by 2×4 framed leaning bars and benches.

A few of our fellow travellers stayed upstairs with me, while the audio guys went straight for the soundboard. The sound in the venue was pretty good from where I was, and by the sounds of the recordings, it was pretty good down by the sound board as well.

Immediately following the show we were entertained by the throngs of drunken partyers before heading for the hotel. Our Saturday morning flight required us to catch the 4:00am train from Victoria Station to Gatwick!

01: Yer Not The Ocean
02: My Music At Work
02: Grace, Too
03: It’s A Good Life If You Don’t Weaken
04: The Drop Off
05: Ahead By A Century
06: Giftshop
07: Family Band
08: World Container
09: Springtime In Vienna
10: At The Hundredth Meridian
11: The Lonely End Of The Rink
12: Bobcaygeon
13: In View
14: Fully Completely
15: New Orleans Is Sinking

16: COVER: “Queen Bitch: by David Bowie
17: Courage
18: Fireworks

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.

REVIEW: Jam! / Canoe on 2007-07-15 – Calgary, AB

Hip-notizing affair
Saddledome, Calgary – July 15, 2007
By TARA MERRIN — Sun Media

CALGARY – The fans want to hear the hits. The band wants to sell copies of their latest disc.

It’s an old conundrum, with no easy solution.

The Tragically Hip, who brought their World Container tour to the Saddledome last night, tried their best to satisfy themselves and the crowd of 10,000 by mixing new stuff in with the classics.

For true fans of The Hip, those who downloaded the entire new disc onto their handy iPods as soon as it was released last fall, the formula proved to be genius. For the rest, those who haven’t followed the group since 1992’s Fully Completely, the material was a bit of a stumbling block in an otherwise rocking set.

Nevertheless, the Kingston quintet of Gord Downie, Paul Langlois, Gord Sinclair, Rob Baker and Johnny Fay, marched on, almost unaware or indifferent to the unenthusiastic response during the 10 lesser-known tracks.

And, after pouring their hearts into the album, why shouldn’t they?

Last night started off with one of the World Container selections, The Lonely End of the Rink, not that anyone really noticed.

After the deafening screams subsided, all attention was on Downie, the band’s eccentric 43-year-old singer and his unstoppable energy.

He ran. He leapt. He mimicked an ape and, at times, pretended to type on an old-fashion typewriter. Twitching and pacing, he was both hilarious and serious, setting the tone for each number, as well as the night. And when the band broke into New Orleans is Sinking, the second song of the set, the party was in full swing.

Music @ Work was followed by crowd-pleasers Ahead by a Century and Yer Not the Ocean, but early highlight was the familiar Courage, which had everyone up again dancing and singing along.

Of the new stuff, World Container and In View went over best.

At press time, the energy in the room was at an all-time high as the Hip headed into the final stretch, which was to include Bobcaygeon, Poets, Little Bones and At the Hundredth Meridian.

While some fans may complain about the one or two songs TTH left out last night, looking back on a crazy week of concerts at the Saddledome, this one certainly stood out. It was loud. It was fun. It was hip-notizing.

The Sadies opened the show. They played an electrifying set, with a standout performance of a cover of Blue Rodeo’s Palace of Gold, which earned them a loud ovation and a few new fans.

SHOW NOTES: 2007-07-04 -Bala, ON

We arrived in Bala, after a brief but needed stop at Weber’s, at 7:30pm. There were a number of people milling about near the entrance tot he venue, but nothing like the “chaos” we had been led to believe we would see. The line-up was only about 30 people long, and moved quite quickly. The ticketless concert is a great idea and would be great to see it tried at larger venues.

This was my first Kee experience and I was surprised at the layout of the facility. It is a rectangle room with the stage along one of the long sides, not the short as one would expect. The stage is also about 6 feet high, ensuring that everyone has a good view, regardless of their height or position in the room. The room is lined by a balcony, but this space was reserved for VIPs (Lindros & Coffey, and a few other NHLers were up there).

The floor filled up slowly, and front row access was easy until about 8:45pm. The band took the stage around 9:20 and ripped into a blistering set punctuated by a back-to-back combo from Day For Night. The crowd, fueled by beer and fresh Muskoka air coming in off the lake and through the open windows, were into it from minute the band took the stage until the house lights and music were turned on after they left.

The encore, despite my thoughts to the contrary, seemed to sate most of the crowd. For me, and some in my group, it left us a little disappointed. (This band has set such a high standard for us, that unless a total rarity is played, we are not satisfied.)

The show rates an 84/100 for me. Great DFN combo, lots of animated behaviour from Gordie, and killer grooves from Gord/Johnny, complete with bass-in-the-air showmanship.

Lots of booze consumed, and we watched more than a few drunks get carried out. Post show there was a pretty good COPS-style take down, complete with pepper spray, (and some crying).

Post-show highlight of the night:
Girl walks up to police who have resisting-arrest drunk in cuffs and asks, “Is there anything I can do to help? I’ve got a place for him to stay.”

Cops: “So do we.”

Hugh’s Review: 2007-04-13 – Detroit, MI

We witnessed another good show at The Hip’s second night at the State Theater. The crowd was smaller than the band’s first sold out night, but there was a fever pitch in the air. For those of us who came to both shows, the set list varied nicely. Boots & Hearts, Dire Wolf, Puttin’ Down, Locked and Iggy Pop’s “Cold Metal” were some of my favorites from the night.

Wheat Kings was exceptionally good for two reasons. Robbie played most of the song with two guitars slung around him. The first he played slide guitar style, with his guitar held horizontally in front of him like many country & western guitar players do. Then he passed off that guitar and played the other as he normally does. At the end of the song Gord recited a new poem or lyrics that I am willing to bet shows up in some future Hip song. The ryhme and rythm really caught my attention.

Its hard for me to say which Detroit show was better. They each had their good qualities. If I had to pick one, I guess it would be tonight because all the guys seemed to be having so much fun playing together. During the phenomenal Iggy Pop cover, sweat was constantly dripping from the brim of Gord’s hat. They finished the night with Fire in the Hole. As the song neared the end, Gord began to knock the mikestand over then bring it back upright by stepping on the base before it hits the floor. Gord was doing this flawlessly, then suddenly tripped, falling flat on his back. Surprised but unfazed, Gord continued on without missing a beat.

Something new I noticed about how Gord ended each show in Detroit. He said his thank yous and good byes then took the mike and knelt down, driving it into the floor with a klunck and some finality. It probably means nothing, but I thought it was different.

We spoke with the band after the show and found out they weren’t leaving town until 3:00 am. They were heading back to the casino to kill some time. All the guys showed up except for Gord D. who wisely stayed back to rest his body and voice. We ended up in the casino bar watching a band perform a Mowtown Review / Morris Day & The Time impersonation. A large number of gamblers had gravitated to the source of the music. One patron passed out in his seat during the show. Many women were doing line dances to the old 80’s dance music. One woman got so into the music she gave the passed out gent a fully clothed lap dance without him even waking up. She was gyrating inches from his face
and he never budged or batted an eyelash. This spectical had myself and many others, including the band members, laughing in amazement at what was occuring.

It just happened to be the final song of the night for this cover band. When the music stopped the woman simply walked away. Within 30 seconds the drunk guy woke up because there was no longer any loud music playing. He was totally oblivious to missing out on a free erotic dance. With that we parted ways with a promise to follow the band to Cleveland.

Review: Seattle PI on World Container / 2007-03-29

The Tragically Hip are on top of their game

Twenty years in and The Tragically Hip are playing like they’re just getting started. For the first 10 years, the Kingston, Ontario, five-piece played it cool as blues rockers. Gradually, the band edged toward country-rock before eventually settling into a straight-up rock persona that culminated in the seminal records “Day for Night” and “Fully Completely,” from ’94 and ’92, respectively.

For the next 10 years, the Hip steadily released albums driven as much by their guitar work as Gordon Downie’s maverick lyrics. Though he likes to focus on the Canadian experience, the singer’s stories run the gamut of possibility. In fact, his microscope seems to know no bounds, a feat matched only by his ability to subsume big, polysyllabic words into songs (pendulum, biosphere, vaccination), many of which have never seen a song before and probably never will again.

Yet, for Hip-heads, and particularly the lesser-known American variety, this was a frustrating time. Each of the five albums from this era suffered a professional malaise that belabored the Hip. It seemed that Canada’s Greatest Rock Band was going through the motions. The root of the problem was drummer Johnny Fay who, for nearly 10 years, would do little more than keep the beat; his lack of excitement and general laziness haunted the band, keeping their songs locked in 4/4 time.

Thank God for Bob Rock, the studio impresario best known for his work with Motley Crue (“Dr. Feelgood”) and Metallica (“Load,” “Reload” and “St. Anger”), not to mention David Lee Roth and Bon Jovi. Rock not only reawakened the Hip but he pushed them to new levels. The resulting “World Container” is the greatest Hip album ever recorded. The proof was seen in their concert Thursday night at the Moore, a spellbinding, energetic and triumphant display of prowess, expertise and most certainly, an absolute love of rock ‘n’ roll.

Quintessential entertainer and dynamic frontman Downie was soaked with perspiration by about the fifth song. By the 18th (an explosive rendition of the bluesy “Blow at High Dough”), he looked as if he had just stepped out of the shower. His aerobic interpretive dances have always made a Hip show into a spectacle, one to be seen as well as heard, but Thursday night Downie was on fire. Not even his microphone stands could handle his vivacity; he went through two and almost maimed a third.

Rarely do the Hip play songs by other bands; in fact, according to my sources, “Sweet Jane” has been the only exception, but add to the list “Jumping Jack Flash,” an apropos encore song, if not a summation of the new era for the Hip: “It’s a gas! Gas! Gas!”

Shawn Telford is a Seattle-based freelance writer who can be reached at

Review: Democrat & Chronicle on 2007-08-08 – Rochester, NY

Concert review: Tragically Hip grab you, don’t let go
Jeff SpevakStaff music critic
(March 9, 2007) —
A rock band ripping on all cylinders in front of a beered-up crowd is an awesome sight. You’re not a spectator, you’re a participant. It’s like feeling the engines at Daytona, as hands-on as dissecting your first worm in biology class. It’s visceral.
That was the Tragically Hip on Thursday night, as the tall, multi-paned windows of the Harro East Ballroom frosted over with the breath of a sold-out crowd of 1,100. There was no showing of hands, but judging by the unusually high number of hockey jerseys, much of the crowd was likely Canadian, having made the trip here to get an intimate look at their fellow countrymen, who are a much bigger band on the other side of the lake.
Opening with “End of the Rink,” from their excellent new album World Container, every aspect of why the Tragically Hip remain one of the finest live bands touring after more than two decades was evident. It is loud: perhaps too loud for the room on this night, but as the night soars on, your ears grow comfortably numb, and the beer cups seem to get smaller with each round. The Hip is a basic, five-piece rock band, but it never resorts to tricks or gimmicks to augment its sound. It can groove, or lend “The Kids Don’t Get It” a circus-monkey parade beat. It’s like watching one of those clocks in the public square of a German town, with every piece always whirring and spinning, never pausing.
Each piece has been in place for virtually the entire life of the band, and they all look untouched by the journey: guitarists Rob Baker and Paul Langlois, bassist Gord Sinclair, drummer Johnny Fay. But the piece that refuses to let go of you is Gordon Downie, who is as interesting to watch as any front man in rock today. You think of R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe, with all of the posturing and dramatic cocking of the head. Or Coldplay’s Chris Martin, with all of that leaping about.
But no one is more manic, or more eccentric, than Downie. He looked like a beatnik in his black outfit, prancing, flipping the microphone about, uttering non sequiturs, dancing as though tuning in frequencies from another planet. “I remember you,” he exclaimed after reciting a handful of names. “That’s why I dance, to forget.”
With the soaring “Grace, Too,” the Hip was as good as it would get this night. A black bra was flung to the stage, and Downie snagged it and stared at it lovingly, as though this was the reason they had chosen to become rock stars. He stuffed it under his shirt for a few moments, then pranced about the stage, waving it in the air as though he were wrapped up in a private pagan lap dance.
“Sometimes when a bra comes up onstage,” he said after the song, “I think to myself, ‘We ought to do a couple more.’ “