Rush is a Band

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Neil Peart, Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson

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Geddy Lee and other Canadians say farewell to The Tragically Hip

Mon, Aug 22, 2016@9:13AM | comments

This past Saturday night beloved Canadian band The Tragically Hip played their final show to a sold-out crowd at the Rogers K-Rock arena in the band's hometown of Kingston. Earlier this year frontman Gord Downie revealed that he had terminal brain cancer, prompting The Hip to embark on one last tour to say farewell to their fans. The CBC broadcast the show live, triggering an impromptu national holiday across Canada Saturday night. From the New York Times (thanks Ellen D):

... There were viewing events in hockey arenas, town squares, clubs and restaurants from the Yukon to Nova Scotia, and in United States towns near the border, like Plattsburgh, N.Y. "Dear World," the Toronto police wrote on Twitter on Saturday morning. "Please be advised that Canada will be closed tonight at 8:30 p.m. Have a #TragicallyHip day." In terms of national attention, the Kingston concert was "analogous to the Super Bowl," said Randy Lennox, president of broadcasting and content for Bell Media, a major Canadian broadcaster. Mr. Lennox, who previously ran Universal Canada, the Tragically Hip's label, and who has known the band members since 1988, said that Mr. Downie is to Canada what Bono is to Ireland. "This is indigenous, this is a band that is our soul," he said. ...

Rush have always been big fans of The Hip, who opened for the band back in the early 1990s:

... Geddy Lee, frontman for Rush, for whom the Hip once opened, praised them in an email for their "blues based, sinewy, guitar rock combined with Gord's original poetic style of lyrics." He attended one of their Toronto shows this month - "an incredibly heartfelt and moving experience," he said, "one I shall never forget." ...

The CBC also sat down with Geddy Lee a few weeks ago for a series of short video interviews to talk about The Hip and their place in the history of Canadian music. Geddy discusses the distinct Canadian-ness of the band, when The Hip opened for Rush in the early '90s, his favorite Hip album, their cover of Rush's Limelight and more. Here's some of what Geddy had to say:

"The first time you listen to one of their records it kind of sneaks up on you," Lee says. "It sounds simpler than it is. There is a particular way the power of those guitars work together.... [They] always sound sinewy and muscular. Then you put Gord's voice and his lyrics on top of that, and after repeated listening, you really start to love it. It just gets inside you. I think that's a trademark of the Hip."

And here's Ged talking about when The Hip opened for Rush: