Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip holds final show; prime minister attends

Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip holds final show; prime minister attends
photo courtesy: Associated Press
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KINGSTON, Ontario (AP) — A delirious sold-out crowd and countless Canadians on live TV watched the final concert by rock band The Tragically Hip, whose lead singer and songwriter Gord Downie has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.

The band, an indelible part of Canada's national identity with songs about hockey, small towns and Canadian literature, ended its 15-show "Man Machine Poem" tour Saturday night in its hometown of Kingston, Ontario. Thousands of fans — including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — watched The Hip's final show at the Rogers K-Rock Centre, the city where the band began in the early 1980s. The concert was also broadcast live on national TV.

Trudeau's official photographer tweeted a photo of the prime minister and Downie embracing before the concert.

"Well, you know, prime minister Trudeau's got me, his work with First Nations. He's got everybody. He's going to take us where we need to go," Downie said from the stage. "He's going to be looking good for about at least 12 more years, I don't know if they let you go beyond that. But he'll do it," Downie told concertgoers between songs. Trudeau could be seen in the audience nodding and mouthing "thank you." In a brief interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., Trudeau reminisced about how he used to enjoy the band's music during his high school and university years.

Despite being diagnosed with glioblastoma, the most aggressive cancerous brain tumor, in December, an energetic Downie was in fine form as he and his bandmates played an epic 30-song set loaded with hits and punctuated by three encores.

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