Tyler Hilton, a musician and actor best known for his role as Chris Keller on the The CW's hit show "One Tree Hill," visited Glendale High School on Wednesday, performing several songs from his soon-to-be released album, "The Storms We Share."
Students crowded the stage during the performance, using their cell phones to take photos and video. And after the short set concluded, they snapped up T-shirts and signed posters while waiting to meet the artist himself.
"Oh my god, he is so fine," said senior Ani Karayan, 17. "I am going to die."
The 26-year-old Palm Springs native, who described his sound as "Americana folk rock," has been writing music since he was in high school, he said.
"I have been playing music for about 10 years," Hilton said. "My family all played music too so I got into it when I was young."
"The Storms We Share," which will be released sometime next year, is Hilton's fourth album. His previous albums include "The Tracks of Tyler Hilton," "Better on Beachwood" and "Ladies and Gentlemen."
Hilton got his break as an artist in 2004 when he signed with Maverick Records and released "The Tracks of Tyler Hilton." Since then, he has worked with multiple big-name artists, including Lady Antebellum and Taylor Swift. Hilton appeared in the 2005 film "Walk the Line" as a young version of Elvis Presley, and in the indie film "Charlie Barlett" as Murphey Bivens.
And among young teenagers, Hilton is best known for his portrayal of bad boy Chris Keller in The CW's "One Tree Hill."
"A lot of the girls watch ["One Tree Hill"] and I know my friends are freaking out about him coming because he is really cute," said junior Signe Loving, 16.
His visit to Glendale High School was the second-to-last performance in a national tour to promote "The Storms We Share." He was scheduled to conclude the tour with a show at the music venue The Roxy in West Hollywood on Wednesday night.
Like many artists of his generation, Hilton has turned to social networking sites and Twitter to build and remain connected with his fan base. And it is always a thrill to perform in front of a live, eager audience, he said.
"It feels like I am performing at my high school," Hilton said. "All the good nervousness, high school really is nerve-wracking. But it is cool, too. Everyone is super excited."
Hilton is the latest in a growing list of emerging artists who have appeared at Glendale High School in recent months, including the dread-locked musician Jason Castro, and DJ Vick One.
"We love to have live performances," said Mary Hazlett, a Glendale High School teacher and head of student activities. "The kids are so into music these days, and we have so many bands…There is such an interest in music at this school. We have tons of singers. We have tons of musicians. So this really is a draw."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun