Friday, October 11, 2002
It's all for one
Star-studded concert proves emotional and unforgettable
By MIKE BELL -- Calgary Sun
VANCOUVER -- Other than money, the only way to eradicate the word cancer is co-operation.
That's no secret.
It's going to require the collective efforts of the world's best minds and the collective will of everyone else to make it happen.
That was an idea that was very much put into practice last night at Vancouver's General Motors Place for the B.C. Cancer Foundation Benefit Concert.
It could be found in the volunteers, corporate sponsors and even in the approximately 17,000 audience members. But it was most evident in what took place on the stage.
It was an unforgettable night of camaraderie and collaboration between five of this country's most well-known and beloved musicians performing some of Canada's biggest hits: Sarah McLachlan, Bryan Adams, Barenaked Ladies, Chantal Kreviazuk, and Calgary's pride and joy Jann Arden.
The result, other than more than $1.5 million raised for a new cancer research centre in Vancouver, was a great number of once-in-a-lifetime performances and moments anyone who was there will probably cherish for a long time to come.
Luckily, for those who weren't able to attend the show, it was recorded for a benefit album that's planned for future release.
The evening -- despite the number of performers and logistics of putting on a four-hour show of its magnitude -- clipped along at a wonderful pace, with few moments of dead air, thanks to quick changes, short interim sets, simple, and heartfelt stage chatter.
SIMPLY STUNNING
Winnipeg's Kreviazuk was the one chosen to open the evening with a set of her adult contemporary piano pop. A wise choice.
It was a set, she revealed earlier in the day, that she was dedicating to the family and the memory of a now-deceased 12-year-old girl, whom she and her husband, Our Lady Peace's Raine Maida, had met during one of their visits to a Toronto sick kids hospital.
Surprisingly, with that in mind, unlike the press conference where she came across as somewhat dour and unwilling to contribute to its light mood, Kreviazuk was utterly at ease during her upbeat 30-minute performance.
Of course, that could have been because she was joined onstage by other performers including members of the Barenaked Ladies, as well as McLachlan on one track and Arden during the final number -- a gorgeous rendition of Leaving On a Jet Plane.
As emcee, veteran Canadian media personality Terry David Mulligan was given the task of reminding everyone why they were in the building -- yes, to raise funds for cancer research, but also to celebrate the life of Michele Bourbonnais, a victim of the disease who, before her passing exactly one year ago last night, encouraged her husband, Clear Channel Entertainment vice-president Shane Bourbonnais, to stage the benefit.
West Coast-based McLachlan, who received perhaps the biggest rounds of applause early on in the evening, was up next to whet the whistle of the crowd with a couple of solo piano numbers including Hold On.
It was short and sweet, and the perfect lead in to the next full-length set by someone equally as short and sweet, Arden. The singer -- who came out dressed a great deal more casually than her previous appearance -- and her band were their typically entertaining selves, offering up hits as well as a rousing cover of I Will Survive. But other than her quick witted between-song banter, the highlight had to have been a goose-bump raising version of I Would Die For You performed as a duet with McLachlan. There's no way you couldn't be affected by their voices and the way they complemented one another so magically. It was simply stunning.
There were of course many more to come including a planned encore with all of the performers on stage as well as performances by the Ladies, McLachlan and Adams.
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Sarah McLachlan MON: Rob Nevalainen
Jann Arden FOH: Jody Perpick
Jann Arden MON: Deb Hutchings
Chantal Kreviazuk FOH: Gary Stokes
Chantal Kreviazuk MON: Rob Nevalainen

Bryan Adams FOH: Jody Perpick
Bryan Adams MON: Rob Nevalainen
Barenaked Ladies FOH: Robin Billinton
Barenaked Ladies MON: John Sulek
Sarah McLachlan FOH: Gary Stokes

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