Watch: POWER TRIP Plays First Full Concert Following RILEY GALE's Death

June 7, 2024

Texas thrashers POWER TRIP returned to the live stage last night (Thursday, June 6) at The Glass House in Pomona, California. The gig marked POWER TRIP's first full performance since the tragic passing of frontman Riley Gale.

POWER TRIP's longtime friend and collaborator Seth Gilmore handled vocals for the band at The Glass House concert and will continue to sing for POWER TRIP at all currently scheduled shows, including an at the No Values festival in Pomona on Saturday, June 8 (headlined by MISFITS). Gilmore is embedded in Texas's hardcore and punk communities and is well known as the vocalist of SKOURGE and as the frontman of Dallas thrash metal band FUGITIVE, which he founded in 2021 alongside POWER TRIP guitarist Blake Ibanez.

POWER TRIP's setlist for The Glass House concert was as follows:

01. Soul Sacrifice
02. Executioner's Tax (Swing of the Axe)
03. Firing Squad
04. Hornet's Nest
05. Nightmare Logic
06. Crucifixation
07. Divine Apprehension
08. Suffer No Fool
09. Drown (Intro)
10. Heretic's Fork
11. Crossbreaker
12. Manifest Decimation


13. The Hammer of Doubt

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."

Regarding Gilmore's addition to the POWER TRIP lineup, the band states: "It feels right playing our songs with Seth, who's been a longtime figure in Texas hardcore, and we've had the pleasure of watching and playing alongside his bands since the origins of POWER TRIP. We're grateful for his dedication to this project and can't wait to see everyone."

Gilmore states: "I'm honored to have the opportunity to contribute to the legacy of POWER TRIP and deliver these songs to the fans of past and current generations. I would not be who I am today without the massive influence that both the band and its members have had on my life, and I look forward to celebrating their work alongside them while giving it my all to honor the spirit of Riley's memory."

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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