Last night, Tyler Hilton played to a sold-out crowd at Il Motore. I speak for myself when I say that I had been waiting for this moment for a long time, and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one. Some of you might know Tyler for his role as the guy we loved to hate, Chris Keller, on One Tree Hill. While he was breaking up couples and stirring up trouble on the show, he was also making people everywhere fall in love with his music.
But first, two opening acts took the stage to warm up the crowd. I’d say it worked.
Justin Levinson and Dion Roy both did incredible jobs. As I’ve said before, one of the things I enjoy the most in life is discovering new music and talent and both of them met my expectations. Genuine artists who have the ability to make a whole crowd smile are hard to find but these guys knew what they were doing. While Justin charmed the crowd with his kazoo, Dion sang us a song about his daughter which actually gave me goosebumps. I’d be pleased to go see any one of these guys the next time they come to Montreal, which I hope is soon!
I remember when I was about 14 years old and we were driving down to Florida with my family and I had burnt this mixed CD (oh yes, those days) and just singing to songs like “When it Comes” with the windows down. Do you know how long it is to drive to Florida? Well yes, the whole way down, it was all about Tyler. Never would I have thought, 10 years after my obsession began, that I’d have the chance to actually see him and I am so glad I finally did.
Not only did it live u
p to my every expectation, but it exceeded them all. As soon as the first notes of “Pink and Black” were played, I felt as if we all needed to pinch ourselves a little. He followed with the songs “Glad”, “Jenny” and the iconic “Missing you” before admitting his love for Canada and for his one and only Canadian who has stolen his heart, “Prince of Nothing Charming” being written for her.
Then it was the moment every hardcore One Tree Hill fan was waiting for. Tyler not only sang “When the Stars Go Blue”, but he got to duet with 200 Haley’s as it became our anthem. “When it Comes”, “Kiss On” were next before in the middle of “You’ll Ask for Me”, he surprised us with an amazing cover of Coldplay’s “Scientist”. It couldn’t have fitted more perfectly into the song.
As the show came to an end with “I Believe in You”, “Kicking my Heels” and “Loaded Gun”, I had to take a step back and really take in what was going on. 10 years is a very long time. 10 years meaning I basically grew up listening to Tyler’s music. I say this because I know I’m not alone. I know that a lot of people that were there with me yesterday felt the same. Someone we have been looking up to for so long, whether it has been in through his music or by turning on our televisions, was playing for us in our city. His lyrics were always something I could go to that I knew would put a smile on my face. Last night he proved that not only is he incredibly talented, but as he signed autographs for every single person there, that he is one of the most generous and genuine people out there.