the greatest american band bracket


Welcome to the Greatest American Band Bracket, a month-long competition to crown the greatest American band of all time. 

Running in tandem with March Madness, we're beginning our tournament with four play-in games on March 14, where eight bands on the bubble battle to gain entry into the tournament.

March 16-19 is the insanity of opening weekend where 64 teams get carved down to the Sweet 16 during a hard-fought slate of matchups.

March 23-26 is the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 matchups, where shit gets real.

April 1 is the Final Four, and April 3 is the championship, where we crown a definitive winner. 


To get a closer look at the bracket, click the image below and zoom. Or follow this link to download and fill in a bracket for yourself.

Download my bracket 


The band must be a band. No solo acts (sorry Johnny Cash). No duos (sorry Simon & Garfunkel, Hall & Oates). No feature artists with backing bands (sorry Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Tom Petty, and Joan Jett). No solo acts masquerading as a band (sorry LCD Soundsystem and Nine Inch Nails). The band must have achieved mainstream popularity while active or after disbanded. The band must be a "band" not a "group" (hip-hop, soul, and R&B will get their turn). 

Judging criteria includes:

  • Cultural impact
  • Influence
  • Body of work
  • Creative breadth & innovation
  • Bands you return to the most


We seeded these bands objectively based on years since the band was founded*. Seasoned veterans like The Beach Boys, Byrds, Velvet Underground, and Lynyrd Skynyrd earned #1 seeds and the rest of the bands were ranked accordingly, oldest to youngest. It was a sign of respect to our musical elders but just like in the NCAA tournament, anything goes once the bracket's set. 

* As always, there's no guarantee that the Brother Brother Brother podcast got the math right. 


play along

The best part of March Madness is carefully crafting your bracket and watching it get absolutely destroyed in the first round. To play along, fill out the form below and we'll send you an interactive bracket you can fill out for yourself. Send it back to us with your picks before the deadline for the chance to win Brother Brother Brother merch and a vinyl record of the winning band. You can also download the bracket using the following link and send your completed bracket to

Download the bracket

Name *

NIT bracket