Watch: Surviving POWER TRIP Members Play Surprise Set In Austin

December 2, 2023

Surviving POWER TRIP members Blake Ibanez (guitar, vocals), Nick Stewart (guitar, vocals), Chris Whetzel (bass) and Chris Ulsh (drums) played a surprise five-song set last night (Friday, December 1) at Mohawk in Austin, Texas. They were joined for the performance by SKOURGE vocalist Seth Gilmore, who also plays with Ibanez in FUGITIVE, which was the official headliner of last night's 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.

Prior to last night's gig, featuring openers DRESSCODE and NINTH CIRCLE, the venue teased a "special guest" on the concert flyer and added, "Less than 100 tickets left, trust us you don't want to miss this show."

POWER TRIP frontman Riley Gale 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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