I still can't believe it. It still feels surreal to me.
But it's really happening.
In one week, I'll be going to see The Tragically Hip!!!!
I, along with all other die-hard Hip fans, was devastated this spring when the band delivered a message stating that lead singer Gord Downie has terminal brain cancer. Now on limited time, the iconic Canadian band that is so beloved in this country decided to dig deep and go on one last cross-country tour while Gord is still able to perform.
I knew it would be a hot ticket - obviously - but I was naive and gullible enough to think I'd be able to get seats. Not only that, Lindsay and I even had this brilliant idea to reach for the stars and try to score tickets at their final show in their hometown of Kingston (a two-hour drive from here). We were already making our plans, thinking about booking a hotel room, wondering what other sights we could see in the Kingston area...
But those plans came to a grinding halt the morning tickets went on sale. I was trying for Ottawa, Linds was trying for Kingston, but we both were sadly disappointed. Tickets sold out in seconds. We joined the legions of Hip fans across the country who were crushed by the realization that it just wasn't gonna happen for us. We weren't going to get to see Gord and the guys one last time.
I tried to console myself with the fact that I've seen the Hip three times already in concert - at least I'd have those memories. But I was still really disappointed. They were the first band I ever fell in love with. I remember being in Grade 7 and a boy on the bus telling me "New Orleans Is Sinking" was the best song ever, and I decided to check it out. A Hip fan was born. Thus began a love affair with the Hip that has lasted 20 years. I bought all their CD's, I listened to them religiously, and they were my first concert. Wheat Kings was one of the first songs I learned to play when I picked up the guitar. The Hip have provided the soundtrack for my life. I was more than crushed that I wasn't going to get to see them one last time.
Like many Hip fans who missed out, I refused to seek out tickets from scalpers, who are being blamed for stealing the tickets out of the real fans' hands and forcing them to pay a pretty penny for them. I thought about having a big Hip party, even considered having it as a fundraiser for our Relay for Life team. When I heard they will be broadcasting the last show live and uninterrupted on CBC, I took solace in that as well. I might not get to be there in person, but at least I'd still get to see the show. Plans began to take shape in my mind for a different Hip party - I was thinking of having some friends over to watch the last show with me...
I hadn't given up entirely. My brother-in-law Chris is also a big fan of the band, and he'd told me there was a lottery I could enter through thehip.com for tickets. On the day of the show, 50 people would be randomly selected and given the opportunity to buy tickets that day. I figured it was a long shot, but last Wednesday morning, I went through the steps of entering that lottery for the Ottawa show.
A few hours later, I got a text from him telling me he'd heard they'd released more tickets. I quickly zipped over to the Ticketmaster website. I had no hope. Zero. None. But I had to at least try...
Bam. Just like that. Two tickets, reserved for me. They were nosebleeds, and rear view, but who the fuck cares?!? I HAD TICKETS TO THE HIP!!! And I only had 2 minutes to make up my mind if I wanted to go through with the sale.
I scrambled to the basement to check with Linds (yes, she was in the basement of the office at that exhilarating moment, of all places) and without asking any questions, she said, "Yes. Buy them. Do it."
So I did. I literally felt like my head was going to explode, that is no joke. I couldn't believe it. I had a brief meltdown when, for about 30 seconds, I thought I had accidentally bought tickets to a show in Montreal (Lindsay's response: "So what. We go to Montreal." she's so much more calm than I am in intense situations...) But once I had established that I had, in fact, purchased the correct tickets for the correct city, I literally felt like I could melt into a big puddle of mush.
I had all but given up on my dream of getting to see The Tragically Hip one last time in concert. But that dream is actually coming true. I can't thank Chris enough for the tip (and have promised to "go easy on him" for a while, ha!)...
I still can't believe it.
I have tickets to the Hip in Ottawa on August 18th.
We willl be there.
In just one week...