On Saturday August 20, 2016 time stood still across Canada as Canadians gathered in bars, parks, and city centers to watch their beloved band, The Tragically Hip, perform what was potentially the last concert of their tour and career. Months earlier, Gord Downie, the lead singer, announced he has inoperable brain cancer.
I was among the 27,000 people gathered in Market Square in Kingston, Ontario, the hometown of the Hip. CBC put Olympic coverage on hold to live stream the concert on massive screens all across Canada. The lights and sound made it feel like we were in the nearby arena with the band.
The Hip played 20 songs. Gord Downie, in his shiny suits and jaunty hat belted out song after song, starting and ending the concert by hugging and kissing his band mates.
When the first notes of the first song of the third (yes, third!) encore were played, the couple in front of me looked at each other with delighted disbelief. The husband jumped 3 feet in the air, a wide grin splitting his face. He bear-hugged his wife and smacked a kiss on her lips. Then he turned, jumped again, and fist pumped the air. Both of them belted out the lyrics, their feet never still.
The couple beside me stood, his arms wrapped around her, her head leaning back against his chest.
The young woman, standing to my right, stood beside her boyfriend, chatting to her mom. When her dad arrived a few minutes later, her face lit up and she raced to hug him. Shortly after, her dad told them he wasn’t feeling well. She looked at him wide-eyed. When he walked away, her face fell, she wiped a tear from her cheek and leaned into her boyfriend. He wrapped an arm around her shoulders and held her close.
Love and support poured in from around the country that night – and stirred the air in Market Square. I realized 2 things: I hope the doctors are wrong about it being the last Hip concert, and up on stage or down in the crowd, everybody needs a little romance.
Have you shared a romantic moment at a live concert?
In Perfectly Unpredictable, Book 4 in the Perfectly Series, Mack Challen, lead guitarist in a rock and roll band, knows it takes a village to raise a child. He just doesn’t think there’s a village big enough to help “gay momma” and her screaming baby.
Kalia Beck always dreamed of starting a family, living in a house with a white picket fence, and finding her soul mate. Just not in that order. Kalia is coping with an unplanned pregnancy when she learns the father has passed away. She soon finds out that single parenthood isn’t easy, especially when the only thing that soothes the baby is the guitar-playing of a reluctant and reclusive next-door neighbor.
Kalia and Mack aren’t looking for love and aren’t ready for each other, but when the future unfolds, it’s … Perfectly Unpredictable.