Tragically Hip to Hit the Island for Their Themed Tour

Erin shares some background on the songs that made Fully Completely an album worth remastering and celebrating, 22 years later.

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 Tragically Hip to Hit the Island as Part of a Themed Tour
Article by Erin Power

Living legends in the Canadian music tapestry, The Tragically Hip, have been a mainstay on the national music scene for over thirty years and their ability to share stories of the Canadian experience is second to none.

Bill Barilko, a Canadian hockey player who spent his entire professional career with the Toronto Maple Leafs and who, in 1951, scored the winning goal against the Montreal Canadians (securing for the Leafs the Stanley Cup) went missing that same year upon returning from a fishing trip in a single-engine plane. Eleven years later, in 1962, the plane was recovered and the bodies were retrieved and, in that same year, the Leafs won the Cup once again.

This story was immortalized in “Fifty Mission Cap,” a track off The Tragically Hip’s third full-length album, Fully Completely, released in 1992. The album was a huge hit with Canadian audiences and was certified diamond, having sold over one million copies. The album spawned the creation of “Another Roadside Attraction,” a now defunct touring festival created by the Hip to support their own music and to promote other Canadian acts and eventually international acts that were showcased at the festival.

This past November, twenty-two years later, the Hip released a remastered deluxe edition of Fully Completely which included two previously unreleased tracks from the original recording sessions, as well as a 1992 live recording from Toronto’s infamous Horseshoe Tavern. To commemorate and celebrate the release, the band is now on tour across Canada and the United States. The “Fully and Completely Tour” is headed to St. John’s on April 8th and the band will take the stage at Mile One to a sold out crowd. Many in the audience will fondly remember the original launch of the album that produced well loved favourites like “Fifty Mission Cap,” “At the Hundredth Meridian,” and “Wheat Kings” but new ears may be unfamiliar with the back story and intimate details of some of Canada’s most well loved songs. “Wheat Kings” for example, echoes the horrific experience of David Milgaard, a Winnipeg man who was wrongfully convicted of the rape and murder of Gail Miller. He was jailed for twenty years and it was only through the fierce advocacy efforts of Joyce Milgaard, David’s mother, that Milgaard was eventually released on April 16,1992.

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“Locked in the Trunk of a Car” is said to have been written from the perspective of former Quebec Deputy Premier and Minister of Labour, Pierre LaPorte, who was kidnapped and assassinated by the Front de
la Liberations du Quebec (FLQ).

Yet, while The Tragically Hip have long been recognized for their sublimely crafted music and story telling, it is the visceral experience of watching the band perform that has made them a must-see for audiences for over thirty years. Exciting, expressive and improvisational, there is no doubt that the upcoming show on April 8, will delight audiences fully and completely.

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