Wednesday, August 17, 2016

My dream set list for The Hip

Sorry we're going a little heavy on The Hip posts this week, folks, but holysonofabitch, only ONE.MORE.SLEEP.  I can't even wrap my head around it yet.  I'm still in a slight state of disbelief that I'm actually going.

Today, I thought I'd share my dream set list for the show.  They have changed up their set list for each show on this "Man Machine Poem" tour, so none of us really know what we're gonna get.

This is likely the last time any of us are going to get to see them perform live, so of course we all want to hear our favourites.  Not going to happen, judging from the set lists I've seen from the previous stops on the tour (they have to play some of the newer stuff, of course, it can't all be old faves) - but hey, a girl can dream.

It appears we're going to get about 25 songs.  I know that sounds like a lot, but do you know how hard it is for a die-hard Hip fan to whittle their song list down to 25 favourites?  It's hard.  I just tried.

But I did it.  So here, in no real particular order, is my dream Tragically Hip set list:


  1. Courage (for Hugh MacLennan) -  Gotta start things out with "Courage".  The classic Hip song kind of defines this whole tour.  The courage Gord is showing in the face of his terminal diagnosis, the courage the band is showing in digging deep for one last tour... the song was written for someone else, but it's now a symbol of their very own courage.  God bless them for it.
  2. New Orleans is Sinking - This is the song that started it all for me, way back in Grade 7.  A boy on the school bus, listening to it on his walkman, telling me it was the best song ever.  I listened to it, and a Hip fan was born.
  3. Blow at High Dough - Such a good jam!  Makes me think of dancing with the girls at Gavan's, must've been the Rivals that played this one?  I can't remember, but it's a fun song to dance around to.
  4. At the Hundredth Meridian - "If I die of vanity, promise me, promise me, if they bury me some place I don't want to be, you'll dig me up and transport me, unceremoniously, away from the swollen city breeze, garbage bag trees, whispers of disease and the acts of enormity, and lower me slowly and sadly and properly, get Ry Cooder to sing my eulogy!" ... it was a good day when I learned these words and could sing along without fucking them up. ;)
  5. 38 Years Old - Possibly the least likely on the list to be performed tomorrow night - do they EVER do this one live? - but definitely one of my faves from the vault.  It is a fictional account of the real-life escape of 14 inmates from Millhaven Institution in the band's hometown of Kingston, Ontario on July 10, 1972.
  6. Fully Completely - You can't have a Hip song list without Fully Completely.  It's iconic.
  7. Little Bones - It's fast, and it's fun...one of my favourite songs to listen to in the car, driving fast, singing along.
  8. Cordelia - I doubt we'll get to hear this one either, but man, I love this jam.
  9. Grace, Too - This one is a gem to hear live.  Especially when they replace the line "He said, I'm fabulously rich" with "He said, I"m TRAGICALLY HIP, c'mon just let's go!"
  10. Long Time Running - Ah, one of those songs that can transport me back in time.  This one takes me back to a Youth Group dance, in the darkened Lions Hall; to a certain boy who finally asked me to dance; to a time when I was so happy, I had tears in my eyes.  It was a long time coming... well worth the wait.
  11. Nautical Disaster - "And the screaming filled my head all day"... kind of how I've felt ever since I realized I actually have tickets to The Hip!!!!
  12. Poets - It's fun, and catchy, and easy to sing along to.  I remember the first time hearing this one on the radio, after so many hits and huge albums, wondering if Phantom Power could live up to the legacy - and thinking, "yep...they still got it!"
  13. Something On - Another great jam, that's all.
  14. Scared - Honestly, I'm almost afraid of them playing this one tomorrow night.  The few times it has appeared on the tour thus far has resulted in some pretty emotional moments, so I've heard.  The last line: "I gotta go, it's been a pleasure doing business with you" - can't leave a dry eye in the house.  I'm worried I'm going to cry.  But I suppose it's OK if I'm surrounded by Tragically Hip family all doing the same...
  15. Ahead by a Century - This one was a hit with Hip fans the moment it was released.  We didn't need time to warm up to it, we didn't need time to get used to it.  It was just an instant classic.  Love it.
  16. Fireworks - Another fun and catchy one that I just love to blast loud.  Oh, and I love fireworks, so... fitting, right? ;)
  17. Lake Fever - I really like the melody of this song, the way it flows... a lovely song. 
  18. Fiddlers Green - This song holds a lot of emotion; a lot of memories.  It makes me think of two young men who are no long with us, and makes me miss them even more.  It's the "other" Hip song I learned to play on guitar, but I don't play it often since the summer of 2010, 'cause it's hard.  It hurts.  And when a song can tie into all of those feelings, you know it's an amazing one.
  19. The Darkest One - I admit most of my favourite Hip songs come from earlier albums; their stuff in recent years hasn't captured me quite as much.  But this one did.  This one definitely did.
  20. In Sarnia - While this tour is, in our hearts, a farewell tour for our iconic Canadian band, they are still out promoting their latest album, which came out in June.  After I got my tickets, I made sure to buy the "Man Machine Poem" album to study up.  After a first listen, this one stuck out as my favourite on the whole album.
  21. Machine - ....Followed closely by this one.  While I haven't been a huge fan of their last few albums, I think some of their best stuff in recent years is on this one.  
  22. Bobcaygeon - Oh, how we Hip fans love us some "Bobcaygeon".  It's romantic and sweet and melodic, and you haven't lived til you've heard an arena full of people belting "and their voices rang with that Aryan twang"... and I don't even know what that means, but who cares.
  23. Fifty Mission Cap - One of those awesome Canadian history lessons from The Hip, telling the story of Bill Barilko, the player for the Leafs who went missing on a fishing trip and whose body wasn't found for a decade.  A fun song about a kinda creepy story.  Only this band could pull it off.
  24. Boots or Hearts - It's one of my absolute all-time favourite songs, ever.  Stripped down, acoustic, amazing.  God, I hope they play this one tomorrow night.
  25. Wheat Kings - What can I say that I haven't already said about this song?  It's always been my favourite.  The first time I heard my cousin Troy play it, I fell in love with it.  When I finally picked up the guitar and learned to play, it was one of the first songs I taught myself, and is still my "go-to" when someone asks me to play something.  And it's another one of those Hip Canadian history lessons, weaving the true tragic tale of David Milgaard, a young man from Winnipeg who was wrongly convicted of a rape and murder that he spent 20 years in jail for.  I'd give anything to hear Gord sing it live.
I'm so pumped.  I'm so excited.  I can't even contain myself.

One. more. sleep.

1 comment:

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