The Killers performance
When: Season 2, episode 4
Why it’s iconic: Airing several months after the release of Hot Fuss, the Killers’ performance nailed plenty of hits including “Smile Like You Mean It,” “Mr. Brightside” and “Everything Will Be Alright.” The tracks served as the backdrop to an incredibly awkward date night for the core four at the famous Bait Shop venue, but in the words of Seth, at least the Killers were “awesome.”
Gwen Stefani – “Cool”
When: Season 2, episode 5
Why it’s iconic: It’s not exactly the track you’d think of when you picture an awkward high school slow dance, but Gwen Stefani’s “Cool” still totally fit the theme of the show.
Modest Mouse performance
When: Season 2, episode 7
Why it’s iconic: Seth tries cultivating a “bad boy image” with the help of Ryan’s infamous white tank, you know, as one does when trying to impress a tattooed love interest at a Modest Mouse show. “Paper Thin Walls” and “The View” act as the soundtrack for Seth’s crash-and-burn situation with highlights such as “It’s not Metallica, it’s Modest Mouse.”
Death Cab For Cutie performance
When: Season 2, episode 20
Why it’s iconic: Seth was always quick to defend his love of Death Cab For Cutie to anyone who simply saw them as “one guitar and a whole lot of complaining.” It should be no surprise then that Death Cab appeared in the flesh to perform “Title And Registration,” “A Movie Script Ending” and “The Sound Of Settling.” It was a shocker, however, that Seth totally missed them.
Transplants – “Gangsters And Thugs”
When: Season 3, episode 3
Why it’s iconic: Ryan and Marissa get kicked out of school, so Seth and Summer concoct a plan to give them an epic date night. The duo discuss it as they paint sets for the school play and “Gangsters And Thugs” sets the tone.
Underoath – “A Boy Brushed Red Living In Black And White”
When: Season 3, episode 12
Why it’s iconic: Marissa’s younger sister Kaitlin is the epitome of moody teen further exemplified as she casually listens to Underoath. Ryan interrupts her jam session as he frantically comes looking for her to let her know her stalker is in town—you know, the norm.
The Runaways – “Cherry Bomb”
When: Season 3, episode 24
Why it’s iconic: Marissa channels her inner Britney Spears to help her sister get out of trouble. It’s supposed to be her diabolical plan montage, so the Runaways are only fitting.
Imogen Heap – “Hallelujah”
When: Season 3, episode 25
Why it’s iconic: One of the most heartbreaking and gut-wrenching scenes of the series was the death of Marissa (even though actress Mischa Barton infamously ruined her character’s fate hours before it aired), and the send-off track had to be just right. Cue Imogen Heap’s cover of “Hallelujah.”