Take a first look at The Tragically Hip tour documentary

June 12, 2017

When The Tragically Hip announced their tour for Man Machine Poem, only a day after singer Gord Downie’s brain cancer diagnosis was made public, it was clear that the ensuing events would have a lasting impact. Besides the question of Downie’s health and the possibility that it may have been the last time Canada ever got to see the Hip live, we also got the ticket bots controversy—an issue that became so heated that there’s now a major push from the Ontario government to figure out how to get rid of them—and a live, nationally televised CBC production of the tour’s final concert in the band’s hometown of Kingston.

And doubtless there are a lot more stories from that tour to be told. Luckily, CTV will be releasing a documentary from the band’s summer 2016 stand, and the trailer just came out, promising more details to come on Canada Day. In one of the opening clips, Downie reveals that during the first rehearsals for the Man Machine Poem tour he, “couldn’t remember a damn thing”—a scary enough thought as is, but even more crushing given the singer’s wild lyricism and tendency toward bizarre narrative tangents on stage. While it was probably easy to tell that a lot of extra work went into the band’s last tour, it’s clear from the doc trailer that it was likely even more than we could imagine.

Besides the interviews with Downie, the trailer also has some clips of the band rehearsing and live shots from the tour, as well as backstage footage. The doc is a collaborative effort between Bell Media and Banger Films, and was put together with hundreds of hours of footage shot last summer. The directors of the film are Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier. It’s set for a full theatrical run this fall, just ahead of a two-hour CTV special slated for October.

In Other News:

Festival Lineups:  ONtour concert series, SappyFest, Festival de Musique Émergente, Hamilton’s Because Beer, NXNE’s guest-curated Club Land shows, The Ontario Festival of Small Hats

About the Author

Matt Williams

Matt Williams is a writer and photographer. Born and raised on the Prairies in Winnipeg, he’s slowly made his way farther and farther east, spending a few years covering music in Toronto before running clear out of country and ending up on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. In between, he’s made numerous detours, interviewing and photographing countless artists across North America and beyond. He heads up Amplify’s Instrumental series, where he talks with musicians about the relationships they’ve formed with their most important tools.

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