HINSDALE – For most performers it was another large weekend-long concert, but for two Hinsdale teens it was the opportunity of a lifetime.
Paden Guido, 17, and Meghan Callahan, 18, took the Lollapalooza stage Aug. 1 in Chicago, performing in front of thousands of festival goers.
“There’s really this feeling you have that really can’t be put into words,” Guido said.
Guido and Callahan were joined by musicians from across the country as part of the School of Rock AllStars Tour.
Rick Carney, the AllStars music director that worked with Guido and Callahan before and during Lollapalooza, said 150 musicians were chosen out of 15,000 students in the School of Rock system nationwide to perform as part of the AllStars tour.
As part of the tour, the girls performed at Chicago taverns and venues for nearly a week until they finally took the stage at Lollapalooza.
And for each girl the experience gave them something to appreciate.
“The best part was just being surrounded by the other artists,” Callahan said.
She explained that seeing the same intensity and dedication for music in others delighted her.
While Callahan enjoyed the company she was in, Guido’s fix was playing the music.
“Playing at Lolla – I couldn’t believe that happened,” she said.
Patrick McKenna, the general manager of the Hinsdale School of Rock that the girls go to, said both are talented musicians but have different personalities.
“Meghan [Callahan]’s kind of this reserved artist who’s very thoughtful,” he said.
McKenna said she came into the School of Rock program at 16, and worked her way through the system. She couldn’t play guitar, but got very good at it in the two years she was there working.
For the six months leading up to Lollapalooza, he said Callahan worked on vocals, which is what she was selected to perform during the AllStars Tour.
On the other hand, McKenna said Guido is quite different.
“Paden [Guido] is enthusiastic and very caring,” McKenna said.
Guido come into School of Rock with years of vocal lessons and experience. She moved from more classical music to Rock n’ Roll, and started playing the guitar and bass, the instrument she played during the AllStars Tour.
McKenna explained that the amount of work the girls put into their work is what makes them truly great.
“You get what you give, that’s why these AllStars are such good players,” he said.
For the two teens from Hinsdale, the hard work turned into a huge show.
Guido said the feeling she gets from performing is something you can’t get anywhere else.
“The energy of the crowd, it was really such an incredible energy, you can feel every beat and the crowd,” Guido said.
“That’s the feeling I live for.”