The 11 Best Musical Cameos On 'The O.C.' Are Basically Gifts To Your Nostalgia-Loving Ears

The O.C. was a show filled with beautiful people, amazing scenery, houses to die for, and some of the best musical moments to ever grace television. By introducing The Bait Shop, a club and music venue that the kids could hang out at, the show opened its doors to musical guests. As well as creating several killer soundtracks, the series featured performances by bands and musicians that Seth, Summer, and the gang all loved and wanted to see live. This, in turn, introduced these bands to the audience and cemented the status of several acts who have since gone on to international acclaim. So what were some of the best music cameos on The O.C. ?

From Seth Cohen's much-lauded fave Death Cab For Cutie, to the up-and-coming band The Killers (although not so much now!), The O.C. gained a reputation for featuring new music and discovering exciting bands and solo artists. While lots of shows follow this model now, and often feature guest musicians and famous singers, at the time, it felt as if The O.C. was trying something new. With bands like Modest Mouse and The Walkmen appearing on episodes of The O.C., the show's ever-evolving soundtrack was every bit as exciting as the plot.

1. Jem

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In the Season 1 finale, Jem sang the Paul McCartney classic "Maybe I'm Amazed" at the wedding of Julie and Caleb, giving all of our fave couples an opportunity to dance. Jem's third studio album is due out later in 2016.

2. Death Cab For Cutie

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Seth Cohen's favorite band had to put in a performance in Orange County, and they didn't disappoint. Playing songs from their album Transatlanticism, Death Cab entertained The Bait Shop in Season 2, Episode 20 of The O.C .. Prior to this, the band had been constantly referenced by Adam Brody's character, who even had a poster of them on his wall.

3. Rachel Yamagata

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The singer songwriter performed at The Bait Shop in The O.C. Season 2, Episode 11, and is no stranger to having her music featured in TV shows. Her songs have also appeared on shows like The Vampire Diaries and Grey's Anatomy.

4. Modest Mouse

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In Season 2, Episode 7, Modest Mouse performed their song "Paper Thin Walls" at The Bait Shop for Seth and the gang. As MTV reported way back in 2004, "they’ve lined up an indie-heavy list of bands to appear on the upcoming second season of the show." Typical of the music selected for inclusion on The O.C., the exposure from being on a major TV show brought the music of Modest Mouse to a much bigger audience.

5. The Killers

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The band might be megastars now, but, when they performed in an episode of Season 2 of The O.C., The Killers were pretty new. Interviewed by MTV in 2004, Brandon Flowers was apparently "reluctant to divulge details of his band’s appearance on the show, saying only that the show’s characters 'come and see us play... And then they’re there and we’re playing in the background.'"

6. Rooney

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Rooney's appearance on the show's first season was an interesting one that saw two of the characters act as if they already knew the band: both Marissa and Oliver spoke to the musicians like they were already acquainted.

7. The Walkmen

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The Walkmen sounded pretty pleased with their cameo on The O.C., telling MTV, “I think it’s good. A lot of young kids who watch the show don’t hear bands like us. Like, my 13-year-old cousin wants a Walkmen T-shirt now, and she never did before.” That The O.C. was actively introducing its viewers to bands it might otherwise not hear is pretty exciting.

8. Peter Gallagher

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None other than Sandy Cohen himself sang at The Bait Shop, serenading his wife, what a sweetheart. Peter Gallagher used the opportunity to launch his own singing career, releasing an album called 7 Days In Memphis in 2005.

9. The Thrills

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The Irish pop-rock band performed on stage at The Bait Shop while Summer and Marissa had a girls' night out and got a wee bit tipsy.

10. Cobra Verde

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This band's performance scored a very special event on The O.C. — none other than Ryan Atwood's 18th birthday. Now there's a party I'd like to have been at.

11. The Subways

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This British band clearly had a lot of fun filming their appearance on The O.C., and is another example of the show's music producers introducing exciting new bands to Seth Cohen fans.

I seriously hope there's a reunion of The O.C., as the musician cameos would definitely be legendary.

Images: Warner Bros. Television