The WB One Tree Hill Tour Visits Chicago
Bethany Joy Lenz kicked things off, telling the audience that she'd "borrowed" Tyler Hilton's band for her first few numbers. Clad in a simple green strapless dress and a bright orange beaded necklace, Bethany clearly felt her music. She'd sashay around and twirl when the beat inspired her.
Backed by Tyler's band, Bethany performed two rousing songs with strong backbeats. After the band left the stage, though, Bethany was equally comfortable on her own. Accompanying herself on the piano, she let her voice soar over the gentle music, at times hitting notes so high that fans nodded in approval. Her range was exceptional -- it was clear to everyone listening that Bethany was a born performer.
Her second song on the piano, "Sunday Train," was inspired by a 1940's housewife. Bethany shared that she actually wrote the song first -- then looked at the lyrics later and decided what they were all about.
She wrapped up with a few more guitar songs. "Crazy Girls," a sassy, twangy song with definite country inspiration, was a crowd favorite.
After Bethany, Tyler Hilton stormed the stage with an energetic, fast-paced set. The audience couldn't sit still as Tyler churned out his hook-heavy hits. Tyler wore a black button-down, jeans, and a cluster of necklaces -- but even though some fans might disagree, the focus of his performance was on the music, not just his cover-boy good looks. Not content to just ride on his fame as cute Chris Keller on One Tree Hill, Tyler leaped all over the stage and encouraged the audience to join him on a few choruses.
Fans knew every word of "Glad," the song he had performed
earlier this season on One Tree Hill. Tyler had them all dancing and swaying
during "The Letter Song." For him, the performance was a genuine workout.
He called Bethany back to the stage to join him for a duet. As they had on One Tree Hill, the pair sang Ryan Adams' song "When the Stars Go Blue." Strong harmonies and a friendly chemistry between the two stars made the performance of the haunting song unforgettable.
After Tyler's set, fans were pleasantly surprised by an appearance from him on an upper balcony in the House of Blues. One by one, Tyler's band members also appeared at the balcony, much to the delight of dozens of screaming fans.
Then The Wreckers made their Chicago debut. Michelle Branch had a huge amount of audience support, thanks to her popular radio hits "Everywhere," "Breathe," and "The Game of Love," but Jessica had her fair share of supporters, too, including a crowd directly to the right of the stage that couldn't stop screaming her name.
Forget the music, though -- what fans really wanted to know was more scoop about Michelle's reported pregnancy. At one quiet moment between songs, someone shouted, "Michelle! Are you pregnant?" Michelle giggled with Jessica, but she didn't respond.
The Wreckers performed hit "The Good Kind," which involved plenty of beautiful harmonizing and interplay between the two singers, and then Jessica left the stage. Michelle treated the audience to an acoustic performance of her smash, "Breathe." The words were the same, but the melody and tone were completely different -- Michelle converted the poppy tune into a chill and mellow melody with hints of sadness. Needless to say, the audience went crazy.
Fans of One Tree Hill, fans of the performers, and just plain music-lovers -- they all came together for an incredible night of One Tree Hill-inspired performances at the sold-out Chicago show.
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