LOS ANGELES — Forget about “As seen on TV.” Wednesday night the folks behind the WB’s “One Tree Hill” showed there’s plenty of demand for “As heard on TV.”
At the Wiltern LG stop of the “One Tree Hill” Concert Tour, fans of the show (and, assumedly, nonfans as well) turned out to hear Gavin DeGraw, Michelle Branch and others whose music has been featured on the teen drama.
Actress-turned-musician Bethany Joy Lenz, who plays Haley James Scott on the show, kicked things off with the upbeat song “Crazy Girls.” Wearing a multicolored pastel dress and a guitar, the actress easily jammed onstage with her fluid folk-rock tunes. Later slipping behind a piano, Lenz delivered her ballad “John and Junior” as well as some advice.
“So often we think we know what we want, but if you wait, really there’s something so much better,” she told the crowd. “It’s inspiring. Just wait. Wait to be the best.”
She brought out co-star Tyler Hilton for their duet, “When the Stars Go Blue,” a song originally recorded by Ryan Adams. The two recorded a cover specifically for the “One Tree Hill” soundtrack.
“Bethany and I started talking about doing a rock and roll version of it, and bringing in some of our influences,” Hilton said recently. “We just went in the studio and had a great time with it.”
Hilton later teamed up with co-star Brian Greenberg for a cover of Oasis’ “Wonderwall,” which garnered a rousing response from the crowd. Before heading out for the night, Hilton closed his set with “When It Comes,” the current single off The Tracks of Tyler Hilton.
One non-musical highlight of the evening involved emcee Sophia Bush, a “Hill” alum who’s engaged to the show’s Chad Michael Murray. “Would you guys be cool with it if we called and left him a message?” Bush asked the eager crowd as she dialed up her honey on a cell phone. “Hi, honey, some people want to say hi to you!” As the actress gave the signal, the Wiltern LG was filled with deafening screams.
“He’s going to go crazy when he hears that,” Norris laughed. “He really wanted to be here tonight.”
Later, the night’s other emcee, actor Lee Norris (better known to “Hill” fans as Mouth), recalled his experience meeting the concert’s next act. “These young women coming out are beautiful and talented,” he said. “They stopped by ‘Tree Hill’ and they sang for us and they blew everybody away.”
“Everybody that wasn’t supposed to be working that day came into work just to see them,” agreed Bush.
The Wreckers — Michelle Branch and partner Jessica Harp — came out and switched up the momentum by using banjos, mandolins and fiddles. Branch, in a white fitted tee, showed off her five-month-pregnant belly. Harp, meanwhile, preferred to make her way to the front of the stage, nearly mixing in with the crowd, as the two debuted songs off their upcoming album, due in June.
Branch also performed some of her own songs, like “Are You Happy Now?” and “All You Wanted,” and teamed up with Harp for a new version of her Grammy-winning “The Game of Love,” originally featuring Santana. It was easily a crowd favorite.
“I’m feeling very nostalgic this evening,” Branch revealed halfway through their set. “The last time I was performing here at the Wiltern was the night that I got my record deal.”
As the evening wound down, Bush and Norris invited some fellow cast members back to the stage as well as “One Tree Hill” creator Mark Schwahn. “I want to thank my partner, executive producer Joe Davola, who came into my office two years ago and said, ‘There’s this guy named Gavin DeGraw and you gotta hear him,’ ” recalled Schwan, introducing the evening’s headliner.
Finally, DeGraw came out, opening with “Just Friends” and ending the night with his hit “I Don’t Want to Be,” the show’s theme song.
The “One Tree Hill” Concert Tour will wind its way through North America through the end of March before ending March 31 in Minneapolis.
For more sights and stories from concerts around the country, check out MTV News Tour Reports.