“There’s something going on up north of the border tonight, and it involves somebody who we consider a family member just ‘cause he’s part of the group of touring musicians that we’ve met over the years,” Vedder told a sold-out crowd.
Vedder said he met Downie, who was diagnosed with brain cancer last year, and spent a few days with him while making a recording.
Downie led the Hip on their latest tour after publicly announcing his diagnosis in May.
It all culminated in a major cross-country celebration Saturday night, with a live broadcast of the final show in their Man Machine Poem tour.
“He was very courageous and decided to take his group out on one last tour and tonight’s the last night of that run … I just want to send them our energy from our gathering up to their gathering up there, and wish the best to Mr. Gord Downie. We love you.”
Vedder’s comments reflect many Hip fan’s feelings. Thousands of people attended either the show or an outdoor viewing in the band’s hometown of Kingston, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.