Top 17 bands from the 2010s that changed our lives

By Sara Valle-Martínez

Green Day

Greeen Day’s Dookie marked a shift in many teenagers’ lives years after it was released. But it was the band’s American Idiot that made them accessible to teens with smeared eyeliner and Converse shoes.

It doesn’t matter if you were alive or not when Basket Case was released, it has proven to be a timeless anthem for those who followed Billie Joe Armstrong’s band.

Like Armstrong, some teenagers moved from the baggy trousers, striped or band T-shirts and worn out sneakers aesthetic to skinny jeans, creeper shoes and ties. But some others still kept their love for Vans, Dickies and brands like Volcom and Atticus.


The pop-punk California trio was still pretty much a thing until the very last day they spent together as a band before their big break-up in 2005. Their appearance in 2000s hit movies like American Pie brought them mainstream fame.

Some of the people listening to them didn’t have a clue what feeling like “nobody likes you when you’re 23” was like, but they for sure brought them closer together with a generation that did. Silly and carefree lyrics unite!

Sum 41

Very much like blink-182, Sum 41 are first-generation pop-punk-rockers – big tongue twister, I know! The Canadian band was proof that this whatever-it-was genre was here to stay – or at least to make a difference in the music scene that’s still incredibly influential nowadays.

Try going to a music festival without listening to one of their songs, especially if you go to Slam Dunk festival in the UK. It doesn’t matter if they’re actually playing or not.

Simple Plan

When Simple Plan released their first album, No Pads, No Helmets… Just Balls, it was obvious they already had a reserved spot in the scene. Mark Hoppus, singer of blink-182, was featured in their second single I’d Do Anything.

It helped that the song I’m Just a Kid was part of the soundtrack of the movie The New Guy.

For a lot of people, Simple Plan created a bridge between the old school pop-punk/pop-rock scene to the newest one. They were pals with other bands like Good Charlotte, but they also were quite close to up-and-coming musicians.

Good Charlotte

The Madden twins had people’s hearts by being complete opposites. Take Joel, the reject-made-cool-kid with baggy clothes and Benji, the goth kid — with a cheetah print dye job — that ended up marrying Cameron Diaz.

Tattooed angry guys who wanted to rebel against conventional society. Aspiration much?

Boys Like Girls

A shocker, but they co-headlined The Soundtrack of Your Summer tour with Good Charlotte and some of those angry kids decided they also liked sappy songs. All in all, the feeling of wanted to stay young and carefree dominated the scene.

The band has been on an indefinite hiatus for almost ten years, but we still want to “throw it away and forget yesterday” so we can go back to not having to pay bills.

All Time Low

If you were a fan of Boys Like Girls you probably knew about the band from Maryland. Both of them pretty much gained their fame from MySpace and playing at the Warped Tour.

For some, All Time Low was like a regression to the early 2000s when Sugar Ray, blink-182 and Sum 41 were all that played on the radio. That may be the reason why front man Alex Gaskarth teamed up with blink-182’s singer for a new band, Simple Creatures, a few years ago.

Jimmy Eat World

You can’t really talk about 2000s and 2010s music without mentioning Jimmy Eat World. Their song The Middle has become an anthem even for those who never listened to them.

Now, if you’ve never listened to this song you’ve definitely never been to a pop-rock music festival. It’s ironic that so many people jam to lyrics that were written about a lonely teenager that mailed front man Jim Adkins even before most of them were born.

My Chemical Romance

Okay, now you definitely cannot talk about 2010s music without joining the black parade. Who would’ve thought that these four chaps that decided to talk about death in some of their first singles would make it?

But skinny jeans and eyeliner connected with a side-swept fringe and emo was born. It’d be a sin to discuss emo culture without mentioning Gerard Way. Teenage angst all over again — but with a dark twist.

The Used

They came before My Chemical Romance, toured with them and became friends. Then the bromance between Way and The Used’s front man Bert McCracken broke and our hearts did too, all in the same beat.

If My Chemical Romance were angry, The Used were furious. Or at least so they seemed when screaming their lyrics.


Female representation, p-l-e-a-s-e. All 2010s females need to thank Hayley Williams for making them feel like there was a place for them, too. And Arctic Fox should send her a PR bill for making us all want to have red hair.

If you don’t remember opening MySpace and listening to this song, you were most probably not born yet.

New Found Glory

My Friends Over You — need I say more? The feeling of unity, the prevalence of friendship against all odds and finding your path all summed up in a playlist. 2010s teenagers set their record straight.

The All-American Rejects

If a band has the world “reject” in their name, then they’re probably trying to serenade teenagers all over the world and also comfort them. You are not alone.

Dare be quirky, all of us have dirty little secrets.

Bowling for Soup

They’re still present and trying to make concert-goers laugh. If you go to any music festival in the UK, just wait for them to be on the line-up. If they’re not, they’ll be. High school never ended for them.

Now, why did the When We Were Young festival not count them in when they’ve made us all want to be or have the girl all the bad guys want?

Cute Is What We Aim For

Shaant, the singer, had the fringe all the emo kids wanted. It doesn’t matter if they disappeared, they still hold a very dear place in our hearts.

Something Corporate / Jack’s Mannequin

Andrew McMahon, the front man of Something Corporate, knows what it is to jump from generation to generation with his piano. When he started the band Jack’s Mannequin after winning his battle with cancer, he decided he was here to stay.

Listening to this song is like watching the TV series One Tree Hill all over again.

The 1975

They may feel like intruders here, but they started back in 2013 and have swiftly moved between different genres to remain relevant. They’re bigger now than they were when they were shadowed by all these bands.

If you don’t know any of the previous bands, you most probably know this one.

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