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06/06/2009 The Tragically Hip (Lewiston, NY @ Artpark)

By Eric | June 9, 2009 2:30 pm

This was the last night of a four night stand by The Hip at Artpark, and if the reviews from the first three shows were any indication, we were in for a treat. I arrived at the park around 6:30, and since the doors didn’t open until 7, I tailgated with Tom and his friends for awhile. We shuffled into the venue, and then I detoured off by myself, as I was fortunate enough to navigate the ticket website and score a first-row center orchestra pit seat! They had three or four rows of seats in what is normally the orchestra pit, and they were letting anyone in those seats stand right up next to the stage. Reach out and touch someone indeed!

The boys walked out on stage, and started out with a number off the new album, The Last Recluse. To me, the set didn’t really get kicking until three songs later, with Twist My Arm, then later again with It Can’t Be Nashville… and going 7 for 7 with New Orleans Is Sinking. (As in, this was my 7th Hip show, and NOIS is one of two songs I’ve seen at every show.) It’s always such a fun song though! Later still was one of my favorites off of the new album, that being Queen of the Furrows, followed by my other 7 for 7 song, At The Hundredth Meridian. Meridian is always a great song in the WNY region, due to the entire crowd singing along with the “I remember, I remember Buffalo…” portion of the song! Actually, the crowd was singing loudly the entire night, and it sounded amazing. They ended the first set with a song I hadn’t seen since 2000, and something it sounds like was rarely played until just recently, Tiger The Lion. Very cool. Gord had the hankie dance in full effect, throwing them into the crowd at various points, and then just as quickly getting a new one from the roadie. Seeing the dancing and facial expressions up that close was awesome. As was really being able to see the rest of the band! I was stationed more dead-center for the first set, but as people milled around during the break, I moved over a bit.

Tiger The Lion

After a brief intermission, an acoustic setup appeared, and I shifted over to be right in front of bass player Gord Sinclair. The guys started out with another Music@Work deep cut, The Bear. Fireworks sounded really great acoustically (“loosening my grip on Gilbert Perreault”), and the final acoustic song was Wheat Kings. At the conclusion of the acoustic mini-set, Gordie mentioned that the lyrics during fireworks should have been “loosening my grip on Jay McKee”, who was in attendance. Back to the electric stuff, and a few songs later, a real departure, with back to back deep cuts off of Day For Night! Yawning Or Snarling, followed by Inevitability of Death! Neither of which I’d ever seen live before, so I thoroughly enjoyed those two! Another favorite off of the new one, Now The Struggle Has A Name, and the main set closed with a raucous take on Little Bones. Tons of fun! They came back out for a two song encore of Frozen in My Tracks, and then brought the house down with Blow At High Dough. An absolutely fantastic show from an incredible vantage point, and I just reconfirmed my gushing about this show two days after the fact when the recording was made available by the fan community. Holy awesome.

The Bear

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First Set:
01: The Last Recluse
02: In View
03: Coffee Girl
04: Twist My Arm
05: Morning Moon
06: It Can’t Be Nashville Every Night
07: New Orleans is Sinking
08: Bobcaygeon
09: Queen of the Furrows
10: At The Hundredth Meridian
11: Love Is a First
12: Tiger The Lion

Second Set:
13: The Bear (A)
14: Fireworks (A)
15: Wheat Kings (A)
16: The Depression Suite
17: Springtime in Vienna
18: Fully Completely
19: Yawning or Snarling
20: Inevitability of Death
21: Now The Struggle Has a Name
22: Nautical Disaster
23: Little Bones

24: Frozen in My Tracks
25: Blow at High Dough

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