The Ocean Blue perform at Union Stage on Sept. 5, 2021. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
In a very well-received show at Union Stage recently, The Ocean Blue, the dreampop quartet originating from Hershey, Pennsylvania, favored their sophomore album Cerulean, choosing to showcase five of its songs.
In introducing one of those songs — “When Life Was Easy” — frontman David Schelzel reflected on how some songs take on a new meaning for the writers as they get older.
The Ocean Blue (Photo by Darin Back)
The Ocean Blue, the much admired dream pop act from Hershey, Pennsylvania, was always one of those American bands that sounded more like an English act. The band continued that streak with their newest album, Kings and Queens / Knaves and Thieves, released in 2019.
The band resumes touring their fan-favorite early material alongside their consistently terrific new songs in a show at Union Stage on Sunday, Sept. 5.
David Schelzel fronts The Ocean Blue at Union Stage on Oct. 4, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Here’s how I like to imagine it happened: Teenaged David Schelzel stood on an overlook above Hershey Park in Pennsylvania and pondered the decade that was coming to a close. “I’m going to take the very best of the ’80s and synthesize it into one band,” he said, reaching deep into England, where the very best new wave and psychedelia had emerged, and scooping all of those sounds into one impossibly sweet band.
And so was born The Ocean Blue, which published its first self-titled album in 1989, and captured the zeitgeist of cool alternative music in one quartet (or so we say!). Quite active in recent years, The Ocean Blue again reminded us just how cool they are in a sold-out show at Union Stage last week.
The Ocean Blue performs at Union Stage on Sept. 28, 2018. (Photo by Shantel Breen)
The Ocean Blue treated their fans to dreampop melodies at a sold-out Union Stage in DC on Friday night. Although The Ocean Blue are best known from their earlier hits in the late ’80s and early ’90s, the band has just finished recording a new album, and they ventured out on a short five-city tour in support of their new material.
Steve Norman of Spandau Ballet was a star player at the 9:30 Club on April 28, 2015. (Photo by Joy Asico)
When I look back upon 2015, I certainly discovered my share of new favorite bands. But I have to confess, the best shows of the year were dominated by legacy bands returning to reclaim their pop thrones. And so the shows I am most excited about in 2015 were generally those shows where a genre-defining artist came back to DC and absolutely mastered their art.
But I’ll add this postscript: 2015 also was the year of the punk rock girl, as several notable bands reminded me of how much I like a woman’s voice over a bit of surf or rockabilly guitar. I’ll explain more after my official list of Parklife DC Top 10 Concerts of 2015.
The Ocean Blue perform at The Tractor Tavern in Seattle on Feb. 24, 2013. (Photo by David Lee)
The Ocean Blue embarked on an all-too-brief four-city tour last week to commemorate the remastering of their first three albums.
They only played in New York City, Philadelphia, DC metro, and Lancaster, Pa., as those were “their very favorite cities” where they first got their start, explained frontman David Schelzel at their local show on Saturday.
Last week, The Ocean Blue reissued their first three albums — The Ocean Blue, Cerulean and Beneath the Rhythm and Sound — on vinyl, and they embarked on a short tour to commemorate the occasion. It was an opportunity for the band to recapture their youth and play those cities they played early and often as a quartet from Hershey, Pa.
The Ocean Blue photographed for Beneath the Rhythm & Sound in 1993. (Photo courtesy Force Field PR)
Poised to release a new album next year, The Ocean Blue are this week publishing remastered editions of their first three albums — The Ocean Blue, Cerulean, and Beneath the Rhythm & Sound.
To mark the release of the remasters, The Ocean Blue, a dreampop quartet hailing from Hershey, Pa., has set about a tour where they play the first two albums in their entirety. That tour comes to the DC-metro area with a stop at Jammin’ Java on Saturday, Nov. 21.
And that show has sold out!
But those going will experience The Ocean Blue and Cerulean and songs like their first single “Between Something and Nothing.”
Watch the official music video for The Ocean Blue’s “Between Something and Nothing” via YouTube:
Tickets are sold out.
The Ocean Blue
Saturday, Nov. 21
Sold out (originally $25-$35)