Dallas hardcore act Power Trip returns home to headline Deep Ellum

Power Trip Photo: Adam Cedillo

Four years ago, the meteoric rise of Dallas-based hardcore band Power Trip was blunted by the shocking, sudden death of its charismatic front man, Riley Gale, at the age of 34. 

In the months since, the surviving band members — drummer Chris Ulsh, bassist Chris Whetzel, guitarist Nick Stewart and guitarist Blake Ibanez — wrestled with how or whether to continue performing, but ultimately decided to press forward, enlisting the services of Seth Gilmore to perform in place of the late Gale. (Gilmore is a member of Skourge, and co-founded Dallas thrash metal act Fugitive with Ibanez.) 

“It feels right playing our songs with Seth, who’s been a long-time figure in Texas hardcore, and we’ve had the pleasure of watching and playing alongside his bands since the origin of Power Trip,” the band said in a statement. “We’re grateful for his dedication to this project.” 

The reconstituted Power Trip made its debut in Dec. 2023, during a surprise gig in Austin, a decision initially met with pushback from Gale’s family and his foundation. 

“It caught us entirely by surprise,” the Riley Gale Foundation said in a Dec. 2023 statement. “At no point in the planning or lead-up to that moment was anyone in the Gale family consulted, or even invited. We were not asked our thoughts or feelings about it taking place.” 

Not long after, it became clear the dust-up was merely a misunderstanding. Brandon Gale, Riley’s father, clarified the family and the foundation’s feelings in a separate statement after the surprise Austin performance. 

“The Gale family posted a message on December 2 and we were saddened to hear that many fans interpreted our original message as some attempt to grab money, which is absolutely not the case,” Brandon Gale said in a statement. “We also would like to specifically appreciate and thank Seth Gilmore. He really put his all into that performance. Our only mission is to embrace the incredible legacy of caring for and comforting those who are marginalized, discarded, or simply forgotten by society. 

“Those of you who truly knew Riley know this was and is his legacy. We are grateful that Riley’s passion for the hardcore community and his work growing Power Trip to one of the best bands in the world will help fund Riley’s wishes for decades to come.”

Power Trip has kept its schedule light thus far in 2024, having played June 8 at the No Values Festival in Southern California, returning to its hometown Saturday for a headlining performance at the Factory in Deep Ellum. Along with an August performance in New York City, the Dallas performance will be Power Trip’s only live appearance in 2024. 

Power Trip will be joined in Dallas by Ceremony, Frozen Soul, Fleshrot and Tyrant’s Might.

“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,” Gilmore said in a statement. “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.”

Power Trip at The Factory in Deep Ellum, Dallas. 8 p.m. July 6. Tickets are $36.50-$100.

Preston Jones is a North Texas freelance writer and regular contributor to KXT. Email him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter (@prestonjones). Our work is made possible by our generous, music-loving members. If you like how we lift up local music, consider becoming a KXT sustaining member right here.