POWER TRIP Announces First Official Comeback Concert After Singer RILEY GALE's Death

February 20, 2024

POWER TRIP has announced its first show since original vocalist Riley Gale's death. The band will perform at the new Goldenvoice punk festival No Values on June 8 in Pomona, California. Also schedule to appear on the bill are MISFITS, SOCIAL DISTORTION, IGGY POP, TURNSTILE, BAD RELIGION, SUBLIME, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, THE DAMNED and JOYCE MANOR, among others. Tickets go on sale Friday, February 23 at 11 a.m. PT.

In announcing POWER TRIP's return to the live stage, surviving members Blake Ibanez (guitar, vocals), Nick Stewart (guitar, vocals), Chris Whetzel (bass) and Chris Ulsh (drums) wrote on social media: "Nearly four years ago to the day, unbeknownst to us, we would perform for the last time as POWER TRIP. It has been a difficult road since then, marked by deep pain, grief, and everything else that came with losing our brother Riley.

"We know this can't be undone, and it will always remain part of us. We have thought deeply about the future of POWER TRIP and what always comes back to us is that this band was founded on resilience, perseverance, and most importantly: a love for the music and for all of the people it has brought us closer to along the way.

"We'll never have the words to convey our appreciation of the enduring support we've received over the years, and we feel as though the time is right to get back on stage for all of you who've been there throughout our existence as a band.

"With that, we are excited to announce a round of upcoming 2024 performances starting with @novaluesfestival on June 8th in SoCal.

"Joining us will be our long-time close friend/collaborator, and singer of @fugitive_tx / @skourge713 — Seth Gilmore — who will be handling vocals for these upcoming shows.

"Stay tuned, more info on the way…

"Riley Gale Forever.

"See you in the pit."

Ibanez, Stewart, Whetzel and Ulsh played a surprise five-song set on December 1, 2023 at Mohawk in Austin, Texas. They were joined for the performance by the aforementioned SKOURGE vocalist Seth Gilmore, who also plays with Ibanez in FUGITIVE, which was the official headliner of the Austin gig.

After FUGITIVE finished its set, Gilmore and Blake remained on stage and were soon accompanied by Stewart, Whetzel and Ulsh for performances of POWER TRIP songs "Soul Sacrifice", "Executioner's Tax", "Hornet's Nest", "Manifest Decimation" and "Crucifixation". Fan-filmed video of the set can be seen below.

Riley died on August 25, 2020. An autopsy report for Gale ruled that he died from the toxic effects of fentanyl, while the manner of death was ruled accidental.

Following the news of Gale's death, a number of other artists shared tributes to the frontman, including members of CODE ORANGE, ANTHRAX and COHEED AND CAMBRIA.

Riley guested on the track "Point The Finger" on BODY COUNT's "Carnivore" album, released in March 2020, and BODY COUNT frontman Ice-T later suggested in an interview with Stereogum that Gale's death was opioid-related. Ice-T said in December 2020: "When we shot the video [for 'Point The Finger'], he looked healthy. It was a good vibe. That's why I got blindsided when I got the call from his dad, who said that Riley passed away. Apparently, he was dealing with the same bullshit everyone is — this opioid stuff. He'd gotten clean, and when you relapse, you go back to the same dose you're used to and it kills you. It was a really sad thing."

Gale's autopsy report noted that he died from pulmonary edema — a condition caused by excess fluid in the lungs. This was caused by "the toxic effects of fentanyl" in Gale's system. The fentanyl in Gale's blood was measured at 22.5 ng/ml (nanograms per milliliter),and he tested negative for all other drugs and alcohol.

The report went on to note that Gale had a "history of Xanax abuse" and a "history of depression," and revealed Riley was found "unresponsive on the floor at home."

In October 2020, plans were announced for the Riley Gale Library at the Dallas Hope Center — the city's sole shelter for LGBTQ+ youth.

POWER TRIP released two albums on Southern Lord, 2013's "Manifest Decimation" and 2017's "Nightmare Logic". A rarities compilation, "Opening Fire: 2008-2014", followed in 2018.

"Nightmare Logic" peaked at No. 22 on Billboard's Hard Rock Albums chart.

POWER TRIP was said to be working on its third album at the time of Riley's death.

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