Last Thursday, about 20 minutes after we got home from New Orleans, we took off out the door to meet up with our friends CBGB at C’est What. They were in town for part of CB’s birthday present: a special concert by The Tragically Hip at the Air Canada Centre to celebrate 22 (?) years since the release of their seminal album Fully Completely.
I used to be a big Hip fan, but haven’t seen them live in over a decade. My last time out I was pretty hard on them (and their fans) but twelve years has given me some distance from hearing the same body of work so many times. Thursday’s complete retelling of their best album, wrapped by some more of their better songs (“Grace, Too”; “My Music At Work”; “Blow At High Dough”), made for a set list that brought back some fond memories. My only disappointments were a) no “Cordelia”, and b) they didn’t put the spotlight on Bill Barilko’s retired jersey during “Fifty Mission Cap”, one of my fifty favourite songs of all time. That seems like a missed opportunity in Toronto.
Saturday night we threw a party at our place in CB’s honour. She and GB helped us empty St. Lawrence Market of cheese that morning, then met us again later at Triple A for some pre-party barbecue. Thus armed, we prepared to receive boarders.
It was a good time, filled with tasty snacks and great drinks. JP brought his home-brewed Saison, which was stellar. Among the bottles of wine we pulled out were a Hidden Bench 2011 “Tête de Cuvée” Chardonnay, a Le Vieux Pin 2012 “Ava” Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon, a Hinterland 2009 “Les Étoiles” sparkling, a Hester Creek 2011 “The Judge” Bordeaux blend, and a bottle of Meerlust 2009 “Rubicon” which CB wanted to marry.
We had the good sense to pre-rinse all the glasses before going to bed that night. Good thing, too, because they sat there for the entirety of Sunday.