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Tragically Hip tribute band playing show on anniversary of Gord Downie's death

The Fabulously Rich, a Tragically Hip tribute band, performs for the audience in the intimate setting of the Codapop Studios in Halifax, N.S. The band’s next concert is March 17.
The Fabulously Rich, a Tragically Hip tribute band, performs for the audience in the intimate setting of the Codapop Studios in Halifax, N.S. - Sally Cole

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - It won’t be $2.50 for a highball and a buck and a half for a beer on tonight, but the spirit of the Tragically Hip will be alive at the Charlottetown Beer Garden.

Wednesday marks one year since legendary Hip frontman Gord Downie died of brain cancer.

The Fabulously Rich, a local tribute band, will take the stage to commemorate the anniversary, as well as the legalization of cannabis.

The band will have a special guest, author Michael Barclay, who wrote a book about the Tragically Hip called “The Never-Ending Present”.

He opens each show with a reading from the book.

Tickets for Wednesday’s show are $20.25. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show begins at 10 p.m.

RELATED: Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie dead at age 53

RELATED: EDITORIAL: Goodbye, Gord

The Fabulously Rich have another show lined up in Summerside on Saturday at the Silver Fox Curling Club.

“The Hip are kind of Canada’s band. Everybody knows the music,” said Fabulously Rich band member T.J. Lewis.

“The Hip was a major influencing factor for us all as musicians during our foundational years. It’s a band that everybody loves.”

The other four members - Dennis Ellsworth (lead vocals, guitar), Mike Montigny (bass), Trevor Campbell (lead guitar) and Greg Stapleton (drums, backing vocals) - played in a band called Adam’s Eve in high school.

When news broke that Downie had terminal brain cancer, they decided to get the band back together. When the fifth member couldn’t commit, they recruited Lewis to play rhythm guitar.

They played a one-off tribute show at Hunters Ale House in December 2016 that turned into a recurring tour.

At every show, the Fabulously Rich donate a portion of proceeds to the Downie Wenjack Fund, created by Downie to highlight the goal of Indigenous reconciliation and the horrors experienced by children in residential schools.

“It’s kind of a dark part of our history,” Lewis said. “I think it’s absolutely an important issue and something us as Canadians need to acknowledge and do anything we can for these people that were affected.”

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