Tragically-Hip-Gord-Downie-KelownaTragically Hip shows always manage to bring the house to their feet dancing. The Hip’s November 15 appearance at Prospera Place was no different. The crowd, somewhat younger than at previous Hip appearances, was captivated by frontman Gord Downey’s conversational talents prior to each song, which somehow incorporated the song title in his mini tales.

Downey, known for his ballads and epics both in poetry as a solo artist, and as part of the Tragically Hip, was encouraged by members of the audience to tale-tell, and one man shouted in excitement, “Tell me a story, Gordy!”

Downey moves so freely that any member of the audience could shake a leg with him and not feel the least bit self-conscience at their lack of rhythm, if that were the case.

Although their new album has kept Hip fans intrigued, it is their previous successes that keep their followers coming back. The two ladies next to me sipping their wine in a rather conservative manner jumped to their feet when the guitars played the first three bars of New Orleans is Sinking, and the entire arena was dancing.

After a fabulous set, the Hip departed the stage, only to return for not one, but two encores. The show was nearly two hours long by the time it wrapped up.

After the show, the band attended a private meet-and-greet with friends, family, radio guests and concert winners. Each and every member of the band mingled, was pleasant, spoke to every crazed fan they could and signed every piece of clothing, ticket stub, photo and anything else waved in front of them. Even Downey, who was visibly uncomfortable with jaw pain, posed for photos with every request placed upon him.

Photos and story by Marissa Baecker