Thrash-Con 2011 lets indie rockers cover Anthrax | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Thrash-Con 2011 lets indie rockers cover Anthrax 

"Thrash metal was one of the first things that interested me in music, period," says drummer John Roman. "I wasn't a kid who was into Don Henley or the Rolling Stones or whatever [and] then got into it."

It's people who share that sentiment -- and, as Roman's Brown Angel bandmate Adam MacGregor puts it, "indie rockers with Anthrax records in their closets" -- who are the target audience for Saturday's Thrash-Con 2011 show at Howlers. The show, organized by Roman, puts together members of local rock and metal bands and sets them loose on songs from the 1980s prime of thrash.

It comes in the spirit of past tribute shows with "-Con" in their names: Grunge-Con, Lollapalooza-Con. And by taking place at Howlers, it shares some heritage with more recent tributes held at that venue (January's Motown tribute, last fall's Neil Young show). 

"We don't have to be deep about it," says MacGregor. "It's fun to play thrash covers. Paul Baloff wouldn't sit here and overanalyze it." 

"If Paul Baloff were here," Roman adds, "he'd say: 'Metal rules. If you don't like it you can die.'"

Thrash-Con is an idea that's been in the works for a few years, but started coming together in a concrete manner last winter. Musicians from more than a dozen local bands will represent at the show: death metal trio Abysme, recent Relapse signees Broughton's Rules, drunk-punk/metal band Plastered Bastards and more.

We're sure to see covers of the bands of the thrash metal "big four": Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth and Slayer. And bands like Exodus and Testament will surely be celebrated as well, in addition to more obscure offerings. What songs will be covered by whom, though, is a matter veiled in secrecy.

"Let's just say that all major personalities will be represented," MacGregor says. "Any fan of '80s thrash metal will find at least three, four, five things they like."

"And I'm sure they'll all find something to complain about," Roman adds. "Because that's what you do when you're into thrash metal: You find a way to nitpick about everything."


THRASH-CON 2011. 9 p.m. Sat., June 4. Howlers Coyote Café. 4509 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. $5, benefits Mr. Roboto Project. 412-682-0320 or


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