The Kingston Man Machine Poem concert is notable for what could be The Tragically Hip lead singer/guitarist/primary songwriter Gord Downie’s final performance with the band. Downie was diagnosed on May 24, 2016 with glioblastoma multiforme, a malignant brain tumour. While most of the tumour can be removed, a part of the tumour still lingers, so recurrence is inevitable. The life expectancy of those suffering from glioblastoma multiforme is usually around twelve to eighteen months.
Barring any one-offs or further tours, this is likely the endpoint of Downie’s career with The Tragically Hip, which began when the band formed in 1983. Man Machine Poem is The Tragically Hip’s fourteenth album. Gord Downie is the de facto public face of the band, one that The Tragically Hip can never replace. It’s like trying to describe Stan Rogers’ appeal – the music might not play as well outside of Canada as in, but that isn’t the point.
The Man Machine Poem live simulcast begins Saturday, August 20, 2016 at 8:30 PM ET. The simulcast is commercial-free.
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