The year is 2004. Tony Blair is Prime Minister, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King has won 11 Oscars and Mark Zuckerberg has launched Facebook in his dorm room. Elsewhere, teen television is dominated by one thing and one thing only, the beloved drama The OC.
The series gripped millions of viewers, with everyone captivated by the endearingly awkward Seth Cohen’s attempts to woo over it-girl Summer Roberts, and the troubled Ryan Atwood’s romance with girl-next-door Marissa Cooper; but in amongst the teen angst, there was another thing that made the series really stand out, and that was the music.
From Phantom Planet’s power pop anthem ‘California’, which became synonymous with the series, to the six official soundtracks that were released, people were almost as obsessed with the music as they were the actual show.
In Season 2 a new nightclub-cum-venue called The Bait Shop was introduced. Throughout the series countless bands swung by the Orange County to play the hip venue, including The Walkmen, The Subways and even Seth’s favourite band Death Cab for Cutie.
But it was Episode 4 of Season 2 that brought us one of the most iconic performances in The Bait Shop, when The Killers stopped by. Before Brandon and the gang were headlining festivals across the globe and ‘Mr Brightside’ had become the ultimate indie anthem, they popped up on The OC.
The now iconic band had then only just released their debut Hot Fuss, and were the soundtrack to Seth and Ryan’s incredibly awkward double date, where both of them ran into their exes, resulting in some classic teen drama.
The band played: ‘Smile Like You Mean It’, ‘Everything Will Be Alright’ and ‘Mr Brightside’ and in Seth Cohen’s words were “awesome”. As The Killers played the beach hut, the incompatible couples basically ignored the band as they tried to unpick their assorted romantic messes. We the viewers were paying attention – and 13 years on they’re one of the biggest bands on the planet. Enjoy the trip down memory lane…