Cowboys N Hell

Few metal bands rocked as hard as Pantera, and few of the many tribute bands that try to project their image on stage are up to the task. The biggest Pantera tribute bands are either appreciated or hated, and most of them don't even merit consideration. On stage, Arizona's Cowboys N Hell plays some of Pantera's most beloved hits, emulating the raw, intense energy and that same hardcore '90s style, without feeling the need to look exactly like its icon. Coming together in 2011 over a mutual love of the heaviest of heavy music, the members of Cowboys N Hell merged Pantera's Texas Wild West image with a dash of Arizona outlaw edge. The members play their roles with ease — guitarist Josh Draskovic is able to shred Pantera's solos on his own, as opposed to the typical two-man arrangement covering Dimebag Darrell's famous work. Vocalist Mike Niggl's backbreaking stage antics, growls, and melodic mastery show a true appreciation for Phil Anselmo's original image, and bassist Steve Helmstadter gives the band a solid, Rex Brown-worthy backbone. Drummer Johnny Huggins offers up pounding double bass behind hazy flashing lights, complete with a big grin and fun-loving antics akin to Vinnie Paul's. Cowboys N Hell will play alongside an array of other bands on Marquee Tribute Night, including Grindhouse (Rob Zombie), Recipe for Disaster (Guns 'N Roses), and Powerslave (Iron Maiden).

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