The Tragically Hip never fail to put on a killer show. Last night at the Molson Amphitheatre, this tradition continuted. The evening is best broken into the following three partitions.
The Line Up - I've seen the Hip several times and I've been to the Molson Amphitheatre several times but never have I seen a line up to get in like we saw last night. We had lawn tickets, and the line up for lawns seemed to go forever. Despite getting in line at 7:30, we didn't get in the Amp until seconds before Gord and the boys took the stage. We literally got in and heard the crowd cheering because the Hip had hit the stage. It was close...too close...
Three times I scouted ahead to ask security what the hold up was and why the line was moving so slowly. You pay good money to see your band and the last thing you want is to miss a note. I was told by a guy working security that the personal searches were holding things up and they didn't expect everybody to show up at once. Excuse me? Did we catch them off guard? Hire more people!
The Concert - It was an absolutely beautiful summer night in the city and the sky was as clear as could be. My brothers and I secured a great patch of grass at the front near the centre. The opening song was "Vaccination Scar" and the closing song was "Blow at High Dough". Everything in between was just as awesome. They went heavy on the new stuff, which they always do, but that was fine by me and there were enough classics to keep the sing along going.
If I have a complaint about the concert, it's that I saw it without giving the new album a spin first. Once I get my mitts on a new Hip CD, I play it and play it and familiarize myself with the new tunes. Then, when I see them live, the new tunes are familiar and I can get into them and scream along with Gordo. The new album was only released on June 29th and I had only heard three cuts before last night. Still, it's great fun hearing a tune for the first time sung live and critiquing it with your bros.
The Trip Home - The Molson Amphitheatre is at Ontario Place and with last night being Canada Day there was a major fireworks display. So, in addition to the 25,000 of us leaving the Hip concert, there were many more leaving the fireworks. We got out of the parking lot okay and onto Lakeshore, but that's where we hit the wall. We sat there, barely moving, for at least an hour and when we finally got off the Lakeshore at Jamieson it didn't get much better. By the time I dropped off the three others in the car, it was well after midnight.
Coppers were directing the traffic as thousands and thousands of cars tried to leave the same place at the same time. For some inexplicable reason, they were clearly favouring the other three streams of traffic over the one we were in. As this became painfully obvious, others in line with us began to protest. People were leaving their cars and encouraging others to honk. Everyone was honking, people were yelling at the cops and as this progressed the cops appeared hell bent on showing us who's boss. They waited and waited before waving us through the intersection. It was a pissing contest and we lost.
All in all it was a fantastic show surrounded by some lengthy waits. Hip! Hip! Hip! Hip! Hip! Hip! Hip! Hip! Hip! Hip!