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As part of their tour, Dying Wish made a stop here in Santa Cruz to perform at the Vets Hall with bands Omerta, Gates to Hell, Excide, and Forced To Suffer on October 20th 2023!

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     photo courtesy of Naughty Pelican Media

The opening band was Forced To Suffer, a hardcore band from San Jose, CA. Forced to suffer always puts on a sick set and was one of the main reasons why I decided to attend this show last minute. I was getting off the bus at the Metro station at 6:50pm, which gave me 10 minutes to walk over to the Vets Hall in time to catch the opening set. But, to my luck, I hit every red light at every single crosswalk on the way there. I got the text from the homie that the first band was about to play and I sprinted over to the venue as fast as I could. Already out of breath, I ran up the stairs to the top floor where the show was happening. I made sure my phone and all my belongings were secured in my pockets and immediately jumped into the pit. Like I said, Forced To Suffer always puts on a sick set. Their breakdowns make you lose all train of thought and the only thing your body wants to do is throw down. I was pleased that I got to catch their set and also catch them perform their song BURDEN! All the hardcore moshers threw down for this song and even got up and sang along with the singer.Tempimagena6Ihg

As Forced To Suffer ended their set, I finally took the time to scan the crowd and see If I could find any homies. The turn out was decent, not super crowded. I recognized a few faces and met some new people. There were enough people to start a circle pit but it wasn’t super packed to the point where it’s suffocating to be in the room, as most shows have been lately.

Excide was on next. They’re an alternative hardcore band from North and South Carolina. This was my first time hearing Excide ever. It was cool to hear what hardcore is like in the Carolinas. Excide has a more screamo sound compared to Forced To Suffers heavy, hardcore sound. Nonetheless, their performance was sick and had the crowd moving. There were phones and bracelets sliding across the wood floor after every song, because people were just going too ham and losing their belongings. 

Third up was Gates To Hell, another band which I had not heard before this show. I was pleasantly surprised with their set. They’re a death metal band from Louisville, Kentucky. Their heavy riffs and deep guttural vocals reignited the adrenaline that I had pent up. I jumped in the pit multiple times for this set because the breakdowns were sick. There was lots of swinging, spin kicks, and crowd killing.

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photo courtesy of Naughty Pelican Media

Next was Omerta. Omerta is a nu-metalcore band from Houston Texas. They had a very unique sound and a very entertaining performance. They played a lot of, what sounded to me like hyper pop, tracks between songs and even sometimes underneath the live performance of the songs. 

Img 7764 E1697928914348Last but not least, Dying Wish finished off tonight’s show. Dying Wish is a metallic hardcore band with punk influences. Dying Wish is from Portland, Oregon. The lead singer, Emma Boster put on a great performance and even performed a song that had more harmonic vocals. Being the last set of the night, all the moshers jumped in the pit and threw down extra hard for one last time until the next show.