Sean Burke originally wrote this story about the Power Trip Music Festival in Indio, California.
Needless to say, the last few years have been hard on all of us. We’ve been torn physically, emotionally, financially, and everything in between. We at times lose the things that unite us over the things that we disagree about. On one dry October weekend in the desert, in Southern California, we decided to leave all of that behind. We left behind our families, our hopes, our fears, our dreams, and our nightmares, all for one thing that unites a whole lot of us; rock n’ roll.
The hard rock/heavy metal festival, Power Trip, occurred October 6-8, 2023. Somebody got it in their crazy mind to bring Iron Maiden, Guns N’ Roses, Judas Priest, AC/DC, Tool, and Metallica together in the desert for a 3-day festival, and it worked. As fans, we wanted to tap into that devil on one shoulder that we don’t often don’t listen to. “Don’t spend frivolous money.” “Don’t get together with your friends on a crazy trip” “Don’t rock like you are a kid again.” We listened to that devil. He had a lot to say.
When I heard about the festival, my heart fell in my stomach, and I felt all of the hairs on my arms stand up. I had to go. I needed to go. I knew this wasn’t a simple mission…as it would require a lot of time, a lot of fandom, a lot of patience, and a lot of sweat. I knew just the man for the assignment. I contacted one of my best friends, Shane Kelly, who immediately understood the assignment.
We agreed to meet for this trip to the desert, but in true Sean and Shane style, that wasn’t enough. We needed more. We decided to begin our trip in LA, where a lot of that music began. Even if some of it did not, the lifestyle that immortalized it did, and we wanted to be a part of that. He flew from Florida, and I flew from Philadelphia. We quickly connected as if we had seen each other the previous day, even though it had been four years. A sign of true brotherhood.