Wednesday was an incredibly tough day for FM96, all of its listeners, and the country of Canada, for that matter. Gord Downie, The Tragically Hip frontman known for his incredible songwriting and on-stage performances, passed away after a difficult battle with a brain tumour. Canada has lost one of its greatest performers.
And while Gord Downie is gone, his incredible performances live on through memory and, well, the internet.
Below is a video of The Tragically Hip playing Harris Park on Canada Day, 1989.
Gord stops to talk to fans, half-brag about his songwriting abilities, and even sign a child’s Canadian flag. The most Canadian.
The 45-minute set is attended by “maybe 20 people”, according to the person who uploaded the video to YouTube, Darrin Cappe. The show took place before the release of Up To Here, which featured setlist mainstays as “Blow At High Dough”, “Boots Or Hearts”, and “New Orleans Is Sinking”, which wasn’t played during this 1989 appearance.
1. She Didn’t Know
2. Highway Girl
3. All Canadian Surf Club
4. I Can Only Give You Everything
6. Baby Please Don’t Go
7. Three Pistols
8. Everytime You Go
9. Boots Or Hearts
10. Last American Exit
11. Blow At High Dough
12. I’ll Believe In You (Or I’ll Be Leaving You Tonight)
Wednesday’s announcement came nearly a year-and-a-half after Downie announced he had terminal cancer. The May 2016 announcement of his diagnosis of glioblastoma, an aggressive, incurable form of cancer, was followed by a Canada-wide 15-stop summer tour, which started in Victoria, B.C., and went through London (Aug. 8) before ending in the band’s hometown of Kingston, Ont., on Aug. 20.
While we’re reminiscing about Gord, check out photos from that iconic Hip iconic show last summer at Budweiser Gardens.
That night in London… #RIPGordDownieThe Tragically Hip (with the wonderful Gord Downie) at Budweiser Gardens – Aug. 8, 2016
Rest in peace, Gord.