Most people are superstitious of Friday the 13th. After 2 weeks of terrible luck, however, I figured that I may as well tempt fate. So I checked into my seedy hotel for the weekend and headed to Porky's Bar and Grill in Etna, PA, just on the edge of Pittsburgh. I was warned to get there early, due to both the limited parking and the delicious food. Being who I am as a person though, I did not get there on time. There was not a spot open near the building, but I was able to park a couple blocks away. I threw some stuff in my bag and I trudged my way through the wet snow to this infamous local haunt known for its BBQ and punk rock.
Once I was inside, I was welcomed by all kinds of familiar faces. My friends, The Snipped and Treaties, were both on the bill that night and it was great to see a chunk of central PA representation in the 412. I made my way to the bar and ordered a pizza flatbread (I was too late for the sold out Burnt Ends special unfortunately) and a draft. While nursing my beer and waiting for my food, I connected with a few members of the Steel City Destroyers, the hosts of the evening's entertainment. I'm no stranger to the local music scene and had always heard of their club, but I was not aware of their background or of how involved they were with the local community until that night.
Around 5 years ago, Mikey "Coldcuts" Petro and Chad Jockel were sitting around, drinking, and came up with the idea that would eventually became the Steel City Destroyers: a group of men and women who enjoy good times, beer, and music. Upon Petro's unfortunate passing, the club was taken to the next level of booking more shows and including charity events. They hold Coldcuts Fest every summer in their late friend's honor.
Today, they are a staple in the Pittsburgh punk scene and you can often find the Destroyer Mobile, a school bus purchased based on a suggestion at the wake, full of members out supporting local shows. There are currently around 35 members and the club operates solely on annual dues and merch sales. Every dollar made at the door is given directly to the bands who are playing that night. Speaking of bands, I scarfed down a few pieces of my pizza (which was excellent), left the rest on a stranger's table to retrieve later, and got into the next room where Treaties had started their set (which was also excellent).
It's no secret that I love The Snipped. #Dadcore was in the second round of band signings for Allegedly Records and I travel to join them at shows quite often. They always put on a fantastic and super tight set and that night was no different. Watching people enjoy the band was probably my favorite part of the evening. There were several times during their set that members of the crowd grabbed the microphones and gang vocaled the choruses. The atmosphere, energy, and sound were all on point. It was magical and the positivity that my heart needed after a super stressful week.
If you haven't been to Porky's yet, I highly recommend you take a trip to Etna, PA. Listen when they say to show up early to ensure you get rockstar parking and the evening's dinner special. Follow the Steel City Destroyers and keep your eyes open for information about the rad bands playing Coldcuts Fest at Millville Park on June 3rd. And finally, in the words of Mikey "Coldcuts" Petro - Don't be a turd.
Breezy McMullen is the Editor in Chief for Beyond the Pit. She also co-owns Allegedly Records and Punk Box and is a founder of the Scene to Scene co-op. When she's not herding children and musicians - you can find her in the woods or on a lake getting stoned....probably.
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