If the title was not enough to let you know this, I will reiterate; there are many more incredible bands in the PGH area than those listed here! This article only highlights some! Because of this, I will also be providing you with ways to find even more bands and hope that you’ll start your own dive into the scene.
One of the best ways to find more bands is to follow any of the bands mentioned and check who they play with. The first show I went to featured three PGH bands! You can also follow the venues, look through who the bands and venues follow, look at who’s tagged in posters, or ask people at shows who they like! PGH music is a massive web of interconnected bands and friendly faces; take advantage of this!
For the purposes of this article, I asked local bands to tell us a little bit about themselves. Here’s what they said.
- Funky Lamp
Where they usually play: Recently, Post Genre Records (@postgenre.world on Instagram) has been a huge player in Oakland’s music scene, and we’ve been super lucky to collaborate closely with them. They organized the Oakland Block Party just last Saturday (9/16/2023), and this weekend (9/23/2023) we’ll play the first “Live From Oakland” series of sessions they’re hosting and producing.
Where to find them on socials: @funkylamppgh on Instagram, or Funky Lamp on Spotify
Genre: We usually just say “it’s hard to explain.” Like the name says, we’re pretty funky. But our discography drifts between rock, indie, pop, folk and alternative. We’re debuting a couple hard rock/punk songs at our next show (we call them Punky Lamps).
Something about the band that they would like to highlight: We’re just a piece of a much larger, vibrant sphere of original music here in Oakland. The local music scene is a magical space to explore.
- moontown (lowercase ‘m’ is purposeful)
Where they usually play: The Mr. Roboto Project (@mr_roboto_project on Instagram), The Government Center (@thegovernmentcenter on Instagram).
Where to find them on socials: @moontownpgh on Instagram, moontown on Spotify/Apple Music
Genre: Dream Rock
Something about the band that they would like to highlight: As a band, we like to think of ourselves as being at the intersection of experimental and listenable. Each member draws on wide-ranging influences, including shoegaze, dream pop and grunge rock. These influences combine to create music with dense layers and colorful textures that also has a groove with a catchy melody. We love playing around Pittsburgh and have been working hard to create an energetic live show that imitates our hi-fi studio recordings while staying fresh and exciting each time around. We hope you’ll check us out on streaming platforms, and we’d love to see you at a show!
- Pitter Patter
Where they usually play: Bottlerocket Social Hall (@bottlerocketpgh on Instagram)
Where to find them on socials: @pitterpatter.pgh on Instagram, @PitterPatterPgh on Twitter, and Pitter Patter on Spotify.
Genre: Indie Rock/Indie Pop
Something about the band that they would like to highlight: We are a group of individuals with unique backgrounds, music tastes and personalities but it all blends together through our love for music. Pitter Patter likes to have fun on stage, playing catchy music so those listening can share that invigorating experience with us. We want our lyrics to resonate with the listener, and to be a band that is memorable and impactful in a variety of ways. This project has provided each of us with opportunities to grow, learn and improve and we can’t wait to see what the future holds. Check out our debut album releasing October 13th!
- Heading North
Where they usually play: The Mr. Roboto Project (@mr_roboto_project on Instagram)
Where to find them on socials: @headingnorthpgh on Instagram, @headingnorthpgh on Twitter, and Heading North on Spotify/Apple Music/Bandcamp
Genre: Pop Punk/Emo
Something about the band that they would like to highlight: Heading North formed after the disbanding of Lead guitarist Aedan Symons, drummer Mike Stolarz and bassist Cee Frink’s previous band, recruiting lead vocalist Asha Edson and rhythm guitarist Hannah Kozak to round out the new lineup. We strive to write and perform high-energy and highly emotional Pop Punk that knows no bounds, incorporating influences from Post-Hardcore, Indie pop, Metalcore, Math Rock and R&B/Hip-Hop. We also strive to create a live show that provides listeners with a fun break from reality, no matter what they may be going through that day.
- Frog Legs
Where they usually play: We play a lot at the Mr. Roboto Project (@mr_roboto_project on Instagram), one of Pittsburgh’s best and oldest DIY music venues.
Where to find them on socials: @froglegspgh on Instagram, @froggyleggy on Twitter, and Frog Legs on Apple Music
Genre: Folk Punk
Something about the band that they would like to highlight: We’re Frog Legs, a folk punk band focused on rocking through the collapse of civilization in the wake of capitalism and being broken up with. We are dedicated to the ethics of DIY music: that everyone can (and should) make great art without the interference of corporations. Love yourself, love your neighbors and f*ck everything else. We released our debut LP “It’s Been A Hard Year” this May, so be sure to check it out!
- Ethan Beck and the Charlie Browns
Where they usually play: In Pittsburgh, we’ve felt most at home at the Mr. Roboto Project (@mr_roboto_project on Instagram), but we try to play a lot of the house venues that crop up every semester around Pitt!
Where to find them on socials: @thecharliebrownband on Instagram
Genre: Guitar pop
Something about the band that they would like to highlight: Before settling on Ethan Beck and The Charlie Browns, the tentative name for the band was Ethan Beck and The Ethan Bucks. This is based on a dream that guitarist Atticus Crowley had where I, Ethan, handed him money with my face on it. More importantly, it’s been one of the most joyful parts of my life to get to play my pop-rock songs with dear friends and some of the best musicians in Pittsburgh. These include Nano Siegert Wilkinson, Atticus Crowley, Mike Stolarz, and the long list of other folks who have joined the Charlie Browns for a show or two.
As this article closes, I hope you notice the massive amount of talent PGH holds. Not only are these people talented, but they’re also willing to help if you want to know more about the scene! Don’t be afraid to go to shows, ask around and above all, enjoy the music and have fun.
I want to take a moment and thank Lexy (@w0rmfriend222 on Instagram) for her help putting together this list! She makes a ton of really cool art, some of which is being used as merch for bands in the PGH scene. Make sure to check out her art, and support PGH artists!