At around 11PM, the most exhausted man in Detroit watched with relief as a horde of sweat-soaked, red faced metal fans turned their backs on him and walked away from the small stage at El Cub. For most of the night the tired sentinel was the sole bouncer onstage for the hurricane of humanity that besieged him for the entirety of Power Trip’s blistering set. To better understand what the stage looked like from an audience perspective, one need only to reference The Weathergirls’ 1983 hit It’s Raining Men. The overworked bouncer did his best to maintain order, but the moment he went to one side of the stage, stagediving maniacs climbed onto the other sire and flew back off into the crowd long before they could be stopped.

I’ve seen Power Trip live a few times in the past 2-3 years as an opener on packed bills. Each time they managed to stand out from the others bands with a furious energy and locked-in synchronicity. But on this night they were in command of the festivities. The house was packed and the Texas thrashers fed off the crowd’s feral energy, converting it to pure musical aggression. It was an unrelenting set that covered the gamut of the band’s short but productive career.

In an age where live albums don’t have the prestige or marketability they once possessed, Power Trip should still consider producing one. They are that good onstage – one of the rare bands that transcends their studio recordings in a live setting. In homage to the all the great live albums recorded in Japan during the live album’s heyday – think Cheap Trick At Budokan, Deep Purple’s Made in Japan and the mighty Judas Priest’s Unleashed In The East, Power Trip should record this potential album in Tokyo or Osaka. I’m not saying it will sell a million copies, but the band’s rapidly growing fanbase would devour it eagerly.

 

Todd Gilleland
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