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Review of concert from 2004-03-05: Vancouver, Fairmont Hotel; fundraiser for Vancouver General Hospital - with Diana Krall
Canada.com, 2004-03-06
- Amy Carmichael



Star-studded concert raises over $800,000.

Amy Carmichael
Canadian Press

March 6, 2004

Elton John performs at benefit concert.


VANCOUVER (CP) - Elton John electrified a Vancouver benefit concert singing Tiny Dancer and bidding against fans for a diamond cross before the show.

The eccentric star performed with jazz diva Diana Krall and her rocker husband Elvis Costello, helping raise $810,000 for a local leukemia program.

By the time ticket sales and the proceeds of a splashy auction were tallied the trio had ripped past their goal of raising $350,000 for the hospital that treated Krall's late mother.

Wearing a black Vivienne Westwood gown and sparkling Manolo Blahnik heels, Krall was floored by the generosity.

``People were quite choked up and there were lots of hugs. Diana looked absolutely elated, she looked so happy. It was really special night for her,'' said spokeswoman Michelle Welygan.

``You could feel it in the air, there was a lot of love in the room and it was nice that it was so small and intimate and we had these three huge performers.''

The benefit for Vancouver General Hospital was a tribute to Krall's mother who died of leukemia in May 2002. Adella Krall's courage was mentioned a number of times throughout the show while the siren's sister and dad sat in the audience.

In a rare moment, Costello joined Krall on stage to sing a duet. The two co-wrote six songs on her new album that is set to be released April 27, but have only performed publicly once before.

"Let's do it just like we practiced at home," Diana said as the two launched into Almost Blue by Joni Mitchell.

John told the crowd supporting her and Costello at the show was an absolute must for him.

``It was through Diana I met Elvis. They're two of the sweetest and most precious friends we have,'' he said.

John promised to donate a large part of the proceeds on any future concerts he plays in British Columbia to Krall's leukemia fund.

She joined him on stage during the more than two-hour performance to sing Love Letters. Costello came out and the trio capped off the night with a rendition of Makin' Whopee.

Tickets for the performance ranging in price from $550 to $1,000 and sold out in two days.

A week ago, the final pair of passes to the concert were auctioned for $5,500 on eBay.

The same couple that snapped those up also laid down $22,000 for one of John's Versace suits, a pink and black number, in the pre-show auction.

It was held in a posh room at Vancouver's Fairmont hotel where cocktails and dinner were served before the stars began singing.

John caused quite a stir during the auction, agreeing to play Tiny Dancer in return for a $50,000 donation for a pair of tickets to the annual White ball he holds at his London home.

Since 1998, Krall has held concerts raising over $500,000 for the leukemia program. The money has gone towards medical equipment and assisting out-of-town patients.

There were only 600 seats at this latest blockbuster the first since her mom's death giving fans a chance to see the performers up close.

The ever-popular John, along with Costello and Krall, could easily have raised more money by playing a larger venue but Krall said they wanted to make sure the focus celebrating love and fighting disease wasn't lost.

Money raised from Friday's show will go towards outfitting a new out-patient centre at Vancouver General, which has become internationally recognized as a leading centre for treatment and clinical research.

© Canadian Press 2004


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