25 Most Prolific Bay Area Punk Bands
The following are the 25 punk rock bands that have played shows in The San Francisco Bay Area more often than any other band over the last 20+ years. These are some of the hardest working bands to come out of Northern California in the last 20 years. If you were going to shows in the last couple of decades, you have probably seen at least a few of these bands perform.
25. PRESSURE POINT (135 shows)
Formed in 1995 in Sacramento, Pressure Point are a staple in the Northern California street punk/oi scene. Their songs are traditional street punk/oi songs and include topics such as unions. Lars Frederiksen of Rancid produced a couple of their albums.
24. ESKAPO (136 shows)
Hailing from the working-class suburb of Vallejo, Eskapo was an immigrant punk band. Made up mostly of first-generation Filipino immigrants, Eskapo played "Pinoy Hardcore Punk". The band's lyrics included political and social commentary regarding both the Philippines and the United States. There's also plenty of fun songs about getting drunk and having a good time. The band saw death and incarceration, (along with a bout of tuberculosis,) but though it all was able to play a ridiculous amount of shows throughout the bay area.
23. M.I.R.V. (139 shows)
M.I.R.V. is a San Francisco rock and roll band. They have a strong tie to the more well known band PRIMUS, having their first record put out by Les Claypool. They are popular enough to have toured nationally and internationally, but are weird enough that they never made it huge.
22. SKITZO (141 shows)
Skitzo is a thrash metal band from Santa Rosa. They've been together since the early 80's and continue to perform to this day. They currently have eight full-length releases. They have opened for and supported a wide range of metal bands. The vocalist, Lance Ozanix ends each show by vomiting on command. Though the vomit gets a lot of attention, the band is focused on producing 80s style thrash metal.
21. HOODS (142)
The Sacramento Hoods are a metal-core band formed in 1994. A staying force in the hardcore scene, the Hoods have seen many bands and kids come and go. Mikey Hood is responsible for Westcoast Worldwide, a record label putting out local bands. The Hoods have a reputation of both supporting the DIY hardcore scene, but also of carrying a tough-guy violent image.
20. CIRCLE OF 5THS (142 shows)
Another band from Sacramento that played more shows in The Bay Area than most local bands. Circle of 5ths (CoFs) is a metal/hard rock band from the early 2000s. The band includes female vocals.
19. HOSTILITY (146 shows)
Another heavy metal band, this time hailing from Novato in the North Bay. The band released three full-length albumes and three EPs. Active during the 2000s, the band broke up in 2011.
18. WHISKEY REBELS (148 shows)
The Whiskey Rebels were an oi/street punk band from Sacramento California active for 12 years, from 2000 to 2012. They toured around the West Coast timeless times and made it to Europe once.
17. LUCKIE STRIKE (149 shows)
Yet another Sacramento band. This emo/melodic punk band was only active for five years, but still played 149 shows in The Bay Area alone during that time. They released three albums, Geekcore, The Mercury Project and Future is Turning.
16. BOY KICKS GIRL (149 shows)
From 1996 to 2000 Boy Kicks Girls played a ton of shows. This San Jose punk band played alongside Blink 182, Tsunami Bomb, and New Found Glory among others. This three-piece pop-punk band released three full-length albums: Public Display of Aggression, Eat Me, Beat Me, Raw and Live! and ...Or Something like That. Their songs received regular air play on local radio stations.
15. SLOW GHERKIN (152 shows)
The first ska band on the list. Slow Gherkin were from Santa Cruz. They were mostly active in the late 90s, and played a whooping 49 shows in The Bay Area in 1997 alone. They recorded three albums, toured the USA three times and Europe once.
14. LOS DRYHEAVERS (153 shows)
Low Dryheavers were a 2000s era five-piece punk band from Santa Cruz's working-class suburb of Watsonville. The Mexican-American band played an old-school style of punk rock. They toured down into Mexico, into Europe and were a part of Warped Tour.
13. STRYCHNINE (162 shows)
Oakland's Strychnine were a hardcore punk band. Their best known album is Dead Rats And Oakland Dogs. They also put out Born in a Bar, Born Too Loose and a live in Germany record.
12. THE SICK (163 shows)
San Francisco hardcore punk band The Sick put out four LPs while together. The Sick was formed by a group of musicians who had overcome addiction. This led to many of their lyrics having a hopeful and positive outlook.
11. TRAGEDY ANDY (163 shows)
San Mateo based Tragedy Andy were willing to play just about any show given to them. This included Warped Tour, but also acoustic sets outside of other band's shows. This indie rock band produced two albums.
10. MONSTER SQUAD (168 shows)
Spikey hair and leather jackets is the look the Monster Squad band members have. They are one of the hardest working street punk bands in The Bay Area. Originally from Vacaville, Monster Squad have been playing shows since 1998. They continue to play to this very day.
9. GROOVIE GHOULIES (176 shows)
Sacramento's finest pop-punk act. They formed in 1983 and continued to play until 2007. Today Kepi Ghoulie performs on his own, usually as an acoustic act. The amount of shows that this list looks at only starts in 1994, so for bands like the Groovie Ghoulies, the total shows they played in The Bay Area is actually much higher. I just don't have any data for shows prior to 1994.The Ghoulies are one of the essential Northern California pop-punk bands.
8. DEXTER DANGER (192 shows)
Another pop-punk band. Dexter Danger formed in 2000 in San Francisco. The band was inactive for about a decade, but has reunited in 2015 and continue to play shows again.
7. SUBINCISION (195 shows)
Subincision played old-school punk rock. The music and the lyrics are what you would expect from a straight up punk rock band. They were not very original, but instead stuck with the tried and true punk rock. In the 1990s Subincision was a Bay Area staple.
6. FLESHIES (199 shows)
The Fleshies are an Oakland band associated with the Geekfest phenomenon. They are on Jello Biafra's Alternative Tentacles and are known for their wild live shows, where vocalist John Geek often losses his clothing and ends up crowd surfing. Their sound is a guitar-heavy melodic punk rock.
5. FRACAS (224 shows)
Oakland-based punk band plays 80s style hardcore punk. They currently have four full-length albums and three seven inches/splits. They've been playing shows for close to twenty years and continue to do so.
4. LA PLEBE (226 shows)
La Plebe are a Latino punk band from San Francisco. They have political lyrics and though they are not a ska band they do have horns in their music. They play punk rock, and the horns add a lot of melody to their sound. They have lyrics in both English and Spanish. They announced that they will be breaking up in 2016 after playing together for over 15 years.
3. THE PHENOMENAUTS (239 shows)
Formed in 2000 in Oakland, The Phenomenauts have been playing the space-themed punk rock all over The Bay Area and beyond. This band has tekn things well beyond a concept album and turned the whole band into a space-themed concept. They dress up as space men, they call the warehouse they live in their "Command Center". They are fully committed to their band. I actually saw one of them at the airport once, and he was decked out in full Phenomenauts gear. No Levis and t-shirts for this crew. Though they initially started out as a cover band, The Phenomenauts have turned their new wave-punk sound into a Bay Area phenomenon.
2. MONKEY (358 shows)
Monkey is a ska from San Jose. They claim to be "California's hardest working Ska band" and judging by the number of shows that they played in the last 20 years, this is likely to be true. They are currently signed to well known Bay Area ska label Asian Man Records.
1. OPPRESSED LOGIC (413 shows)
Formed in 1994 in Oakland, Opressed Logic have played more shows in the Bay Area since that year, than any other punk/ska/thrash band. Not only do they play a lot of shows, they also have a large amount of records to their name. Due to their offensive lyrics they were at times banned from venues such as 924 Gilman Street, but currently Mike, the band's founder and vocalist, volunteers and books shows at the venue. Along with the Bay Area shows, Opressed Logic has toured in the USA, Canada and Europe.