Return to the Metal Capital comes to the Institute of Texan Cultures

Photos by Luis Vazquez - Photographer, SA Sentinel

June 28, 2019 - Downtown San Antonio

Article By: Luis Vazquez - Managing Editor, SA Sentinel

Nacho Vara. (Photo by  Luis Vazquez  - Photographer, SA Sentinel)

Nacho Vara. (Photo by Luis Vazquez - Photographer, SA Sentinel)

The Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC) will be making some history as it hosts “Return to the Metal Capital” this Saturday. Legendary Texas metal band Byfist will perform, marking the first time in the 51 year history of the ITC that a metal band has performed within its walls. Nacho Vara of Byfist describes it as “an honor” to be the first band to play at the ITC, but this isn't the first time that the Institute has celebrated San Antonio’s rich history of heavy metal music. Greggory Garret, an educator at ITC, explained that last October Dr. Gergory Peek hosted a panel discussion for the Heavy Metal Capital of the World Exhibit. “(It) really got the ball rolling on understanding how important the heavy metal scene was in San Antonio,” said Peek. “What we developed was the first session in our heavy metal programming. It basically revolved around the radio side of things.” 

This time around, “Return To The Heavy Metal Capital” will focus more on the local acts that were nurtured and thrived during that period in the late seventies through the early 90’s. A panel and Q&A will be held with members of various bands from the era including Larry Barragan of Helstar, Bobby Jarzombek of Juggernaut, Al Berlanga of Syrus, Buster Grant of Wyzard, Donnie Van Stavern of SA Slayer and Nacho Vara of Byfist. The panel will be moderated by Robb Chavez, an expert in San Antonio metal and host of Robb’s MetalWorks, a show that has been at the forefront of the scene since 1999.

Juan Herrera. (Photo by  Luis Vazquez  - Photographer, SA Sentinel)

Juan Herrera. (Photo by Luis Vazquez - Photographer, SA Sentinel)

Juan Herrera will also be in attendance promoting and signing copies of his new book, “As Viewed From The Pit,” a photo essay of the South Texas music scene from 1978-89. “I grew up in the metal scene and was lucky enough to become friends with most of the guys in the metal scene,” says Herrera. 

The exhibit will be open from 9am to 1pm and the panel discussion and performances will run from 1-3 PM. The exhibit will be available at the ITC through January 5th, 2020. Tickets are $10, and there will be free parking on the ITC grounds.