Escape the Fate blows the roof off the DNA Lounge in San Francisco, California on October 1, 2023



On Sunday October 1, 2023, I scheduled a double header in San Francisco, California. During the day the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival (see my previous review) and once done there, I made the quick trip across the city to the DNA Lounge in the SOMA district to cover Escape the Fate. The second part of the day was filled with metal and a chilly ride home. Totally worth it!

On the menu for the night was Escape the Fate with Garzi, Stitched Up Heart, Point North and D.R.U.G.S. supporting. The DNA Lounge is a San Francisco staple, hosting some of the best live metal and Goth bands, their weekly goth dance night (Deathguild), and the Hubba Hubba Review burlesque night.  They also make some pretty killer pizza.

Up first was Garzi. Garzi blends Hip-Hop with Metal and Punk to give them a unique and addictive sound. Garzi hit the stage it great confidence and it was well deserved. This was not your usual warm up band, as they were at 100% from the first note. His stage presence was great and their sound was fresh yet, retro 90’s at the same time.  The authenticity of their music pulled in the growing crowd.  A minimalistic drums and a heavy guitar sound only added to his unique vocal stylings. The only downside to this set was that it was too short. 


Garzi band members are:

Garzi – vocals

Jeff Keylor – guitar

Tristan Copelan – drums



Stitched Up Heart was next on stage. I have been following them since 2019 when the lead singer Alecia Demner, or Mixi performed at the Above Ground benefit concert. Finally, we got a Bay Area date and Mixi and the boys did not disappoint. This time out they were supporting their To the Wolves album and half this set came off of this album. To be honest, this performance was everything I hoped it would be. Heavy, yet melodic sounds and an amazing stage presence. They were dynamic and engaging and even a bit funny at times. Bass player Randy Mathias had inadvertently got in Mixi’s way so, she got all up in his face and everyone had a good chuckle. Keep an eye on this band, They will be headliners at anytime now.


Stitched Up Heart band members are:

Alecia ‘Mixi’ Demner – lead vocals, rhythm guitar

James Decker – drums, backing vocals

Merritt Goodwin – lead guitar

Randy Mathias – bass, backing vocals



Set List

1). To The Wolves
2). Lost
3). Possess Me
4). My Demon
5). Finally Free
6). Immortal


Then Point North joined the fun on stage. While still on the heavy side, they slowed things down a bit so we could all catch our collective breaths.  Don’t get me wrong, these guys rock and they brought it. The pit was now down to a dull roar and people were trying to get closer to the stage to get a better vantage point. The fifth song in was a cover of Nothing.Nowhere’s “Hammer” and they killed it. This was a well put together set that sounded great. 


Point North band members are:

Jon Lundin – vocals

Eric Barnett – guitar

Uriah Duffy – bass

Kevin Aiello – drums



Set List

1). Ghost In My Home
2). Dark Days
3). Psycho
4). Below The Belt
5). Hammer (Nothing.Nowhere cover)
6). Gasoline
7). Safe and Sound
8). Into The Dark

D.R.U.G.S. stands for Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows. This post-hardcore band ramped the night back up into a fury and held it there.  Fronted by Craig Owens, the band was tight and polished. Cranking through the songs, the intensity of the crowd was building. Opening with “Destiny”,  had the crowd was singing along and having a great time. “Laminated E.T. Animal” had the whole crowd jumping with their hands in the air to get the energy up, not that it was needed, the energy was already there! Owens was super gracious throughout the whole set, thanking everyone and telling everyone how great they (the audience) were. 


D.R.U.G.S. band members are:

Craig Owens – lead vocals

Mike Foley – bass

Mitchell Rogers – guitar

Sean Rauchut – drums, percussion



Set List

1). Destiny
2). Mr. Owl Ate My Metal Worm
3). Graveyard Dancing
4). Gold
5). Laminated E.T. Animal
6). The Longest Road
7). If You Think This Song Is About You, It Probably Is
8). The Only Thing You Talk About
9). Sex Life


Escape the Fate hit the stage with an onslaught of cheers. While this is a relatively newer lineup for them (Robert Ortiz is the only original member), they shred and this performance sounded like they have all been playing together for years. Wearing a black trench coat, flat brimmed hat and black mask, Erik Jensen on bass was great and his onstage look was perfect. Four of the fifteen song set list were songs off their latest release, Out of the Shadows, that was released on September 1 2023.  The rest were from their back catalog that the audience was more than familiar with. With insane guitar licks and a great vocal mix, this was a great performance.  Hard and heavy they blasted through their set with exuberance. A few times in between songs they would return lost items to their owners in the crowd and Craig joked “We should change our name to Lost and Found!”. They also took the opportunity to sign a few things for attendees in between songs. I thought that was pretty cool. For the last song, Craig was out in the crowd singing amongst the people and they people couldn’t have been happier. What a way to finish the set.


Escape the Fate band members are:

Robert Ortiz – drums, backing vocals

Craig Mabbitt – lead vocals

Thomas “TJ” Bell – rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Erik Jensen – bass, backing vocals 

Matti Hoffman – lead guitar



Set List

1). Forgive Me
2). The Flood
3).Lightning Strike
4). Live Fast, Die Beautiful
5). Ungrateful
6). Low
7). H8 MY SELF
8). Gorgeous Nightmare
9). Picture Perfect
10). Ashley
11). Broken Heart
12). Matti Guitar Solo
13). This War Is Ours (The Guillotine II)
14). Cheers to Goodbye
15). One for the Money








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