The Texas-based thrash metal band Power Trip could have disbanded after their lead singer Riley Gale, suddenly and tragically passed away in August 2020. They went on a bit of a hiatus, but came back in 2023 with a new singer, Seth Gilmore. Now, in 2024, they’re embarking on a string of shows celebrating the band, Riley Gale, and of course, the beauty of bodies hitting bodies in a mosh pit.

If you’ve never heard of Power Trip, you should educate yourself. They bring a brand of thrash metal that is similar to that of the greats of the 1980’s, but with even more visceral power behind it. With songs like “Hornet’s Nest”, “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe)”, and “Crossbreaker”, you can expect sheer pandemonium and certain bruising from bodies flying around in a mosh pit. WIth all that power behind them, you’d think that the atmosphere would be scary or intimidating. It’s not. This isn’t exactly the ’80s glam bands playing on stage, but everyone is here to have a good time, including the band. For their third show on this SoCal run that they went on, the band took the stage at The Fonda Theater in Los Angeles.

The Setlist For Power Trip At The Fonda Theater

Kicking it right into high gear with the first three songs off their Nightmare Logic album, the pit was already going like a whirlpool. Bodies are flying left and right, brave souls stand in the middle, hoping that a rogue arm doesn’t stretch out and drag them to the depths, back into the spin cycle. Outside the pit, the walls of also brave souls keeping the entire circle standing, reaching out to grab anyone that falls down (the first rule of the mosh pit, stop what you’re doing and help, if someone falls down).

All the while, this microcosm of humanity is going on, the band is on stage shredding the songs. “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe)” is a special one for Power Trip, as it might be their most brain-worming track. After hearing the chorus, combined with the groovy riff, it’ll be stuck in your head for long after.

After those first three tracks, the crowd was ready for more. I’ve seen Power Trip twice before this and I knew what was coming. There are certain words and phrases when put together, they achieve a prescribed response. Some have negative connotations, like an insult. Some have positive connotations, like a complement. Here, the two words when screamed by the lead singer of Power Trip, achieve a response of sheer destruction of the human body. “Hornet’s Nest.”

I’d love to just tell you what happens when “Hornet’s Nest” comes on, but I’ll just show you with the image above.

That twisted mess of bodies, people, limbs, and whatever else is what happens.

For the rest of the setlist, they played some hard and heavy tracks like “Crossbreaker”, “Manifest Decimation” (which garnered the second most brutality after “Hornet’s Nest”), and finished up with “The Hammer of Doubt” as the encore. My only real complaint was that they took a bit too long between some of the songs without any sort of crowd interaction. They had ambient sounds playing but it felt like those breaks went 15-20 seconds too long and made the crowd a bit restless. Outside of that, this was about as triumphant a band can get after losing such a valuable member.

Seth Gilmore fills in with a similar fury and penchant for whipping a crowd into a fury. His vocals are the best of both worlds for a new singer, he replicates what’s on the studio track, but also adds his own flair. The tight 13-song setlist gave a look at the past, present, and future for the band. Even after a tragic loss, they’re back out and shredding places like Southern California. It’s a story we all can relate to, and you can relate a little more if you enjoy the fine art of the mosh pit.

You can see Power Trip on their current tour and get tickets/merch right here.

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