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The Tragically Hip 

When: Fri., Nov. 2, 9 p.m. 2012
Price: $36.50 ADV, $38 DOS
For much of its nearly 30-year career, Canada’s Tragically Hip has filled arenas in its native Canada. At various moments in the ’90s, major labels have tried to replicate that popularity south of the border. It hasn’t really worked out, but guitarist Paul Langlois says the band never imagined it would. “We were always considered one of those next big bands, but we knew that wasn’t realistic,” he says via phone from his Kingston home. “It didn’t feel like there was a connection with the masses or even a vehicle in which to try out a connection with the masses. We had some songs that were played on radio stations, but we were not paid attention to by your national magazines like Rolling Stone. National exposure was something we never had. We weren’t going to not play in the States. There are so many cities to play in. We have a good word-of-mouth thing going in the States.” That’s certainly the case in Cleveland, where the band has an ardent following and played to a sold-out House of Blues when it was last in town three years ago. Much like R.E.M., the band has a rootsy sound and an enigmatic singer. The band’s music gets a bit of a boost on its terrific new album, Now for Plan A, which kicks off with the driving anthem “At Transformation,” one of several new tunes the group is likely to play at this show. But if you’re thinking the set list will be comprised mostly of the band’s best-known material, think again. Langlois says the guys plan to go deep into their catalogue. “Certainly we’ll play some new songs, but we like to change it up,” he says. “As we go there is more and more to choose from. We’ll see if there’s any songs from our past that we’ve been ignoring or not playing enough and maybe rest a few others. It’s hard to say right now but we’ll keep it changing.” (Jeff Niesel)

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