Home Gigs Gig Review : Alter Bridge & Sevendust Bring their tour to the Eagles Ballroom in Milwaukee, WI

Gig Review : Alter Bridge & Sevendust Bring their tour to the Eagles Ballroom in Milwaukee, WI

16 min read

Review & Photos by Greg Hamil for MPM

Summer is winding down and the temperatures are finally cooling a little in the Midwest as Alter Bridge brings their Pawns and Kings tour to the Eagles Ballroom in Milwaukee, WI. This is the third and final leg of the tour before the band takes a much-needed break. Joining them in a strong supporting role for this leg of the tour are veteran rockers, Sevendust.

The Eagles Ballroom is one of my favorite venues to cover shows in. There are multiple rooms of varying sizes for bands to play in. Alter Bridge first played this venue in 2004 with most of their shows being in The Rave, which is just downstairs from the Eagles Ballroom. They have played this venue around a dozen times over the years, but this is the first time in the Eagles Ballroom which speaks volumes to how far they have come as this room has the largest capacity of all the rooms in the building!

Sevendust formed in 1994 out of Atlanta, GA. They are known for their heavy guitars, hard driving rhythms, and soulful vocals. The band is fronted by Lajon Witherspoon on vocals; Vince Hornsby on bass guitar; Morgan Rose on drum; John Connolly on rhythm guitar, and Clint Lowry on lead guitar.

Sevendust kicked of their set with Face to Face. The song is a fan favorite and great way to start the show. The song is about love, anger, and the complexities of relationships. The crowd was immediately into it moshing and singing along.

After Witherspoon encourages the crowd to get their hands in the air, they immediately jump into Denial. This is a song about the struggle to accept a relationship that has gone bad. The crowd pounded their fists in the air as the band thundered through the song.

About midway through the set, Sevendust slowed things down with Angel’s Son, which is a tribute to Snot front man Lynn Strait who passed away in a car accident in 1998. The covers the impact he left on the members of Sevendust and how they struggled with grief. The song resonated with the crowd and the lyrics struck an emotional chord with many in attendance.

From there, they bounced right back to the hardcore metal with their classic hit, Black. Yet another song that fans can relate to being about staying strong in the face of adversity. It brought the energy roaring back and got the crowd roaring and moshing once again.

Next up was a more recent track called Everything. A little more mainstream than some of their previous songs but has still become a fan favorite. It broaches the topic of an identity crisis that occurs when you have given your all to a relationship and that relationship ends. The crowd showed their appreciation with hands waving in the air and singing along loudly.

To close out the night, Sevendust launches into the song Shine. The song is about Witherspoon’s brother who was killed about a year later. A hard pounding song that inspires fans to reflect on their lives and confront challenges that lie ahead. What better way to end a show than with a song about hope and resilience.

The crowd responded with an extended round of cheers and applause as the band took a final bow and said goodnight.

Sevendust put on an amazing show and gave the crowd a night to remember already. They know how to put on a great live show with a lot of energy. They are a band that can headline, but what a pleasure it was to have them as the opener on this night!

Sevendust Setlist: Face to Face – Denial – Crucified – Karma – Fence – Disgrace – Angel’s Son – Black – Everything – Shine

Alter Bridge was formed in 2004 in Orlando, Florida by Myles Kennedy on vocals and guitar, Mark Tremonti on lead guitar, Brian Marshall on bass guitar, and Scott Phillips on drums. The band is known for their melodic hard rock sound with astounding musicianship and songwriting.

Alter Bridge opens the show with Silver Tongue from the Pawns and Kings album. The song is about a charismatic person who can seduce people with what he says. The driving tempo and sharp lyrics make this the perfect song to open the show. The crowd showed their appreciation with lots of screaming and fists in the air.

Next up was Addicted to Pain, a song about not being able to accept change and being unable to go back. The song showcases the band’s more aggressive side with intense and driving music. This aggressiveness translates to the crowd who begin to jump around and mosh pits open up in a couple of different areas.

As the night progresses, Alter Bridge moves on to Broken Wings. The message here is to never stop searching for meaning even though you may fail or lose hope at times. A beautiful ballad that has fans lighting up their phones and waving them in the air as everyone sings along with the chorus.

For the next song, Myles Kennedy announces that Mark Tremonti will be taking over on vocals for Burn It Down. The song is about finding the strength to overcome adversity and find new paths in life. It is a driving and energetic ballad that has the many in the crowd closing their eyes as they sway along with the music.

As we move to the middle of the set, Kennedy grabs an acoustic guitar. After a brief discussion with the crowd about their first time playing the venue, he strums the first chords of Watch Over You. I have heard a lot of meanings to this song, but after losing both my parents last year, the one that resonates with me the most is about losing a person or people that you love and struggling with who will be there to watch over you now that they are no longer around for you. The music is soothing, especially on the acoustic guitar and Kennedy’s emotion and power in the vocals brings everyone to a stop right where they are as everyone is mesmerized by this song.

Mark Tremonti rejoins Kennedy on stage. He has also switched to an acoustic guitar and the two perform a duet of In Loving Memory, which is a song about Tremonti’s late mother. Looking around the room, some are swaying to the music, others have their heads bowed, and many have tears in their eyes as they can relate to the meaning of the song.

The rest of the band comes back on stage with their electric instruments in tow. We get one final ballad in Blackbird. This is a song that Kennedy wrote about a friend who sold him his first guitar. They had stayed friends over the years. His friend passed away as the song was being completed. It is about the suffering that he was going through and the hope that his friend would soon be free from all his pain. With phones lit up and waving in the air, everyone in the room sang along loudly with each chorus.

As the end of the show was near; Kennedy introduces the band. First, Scott Phillips who begins to play a driving rhythm on the drums, followed by Brian Marshall who joins in on bass. Next to be introduced is Mark Tremonti on lead guitar who leads the band into the opening of their signature song, Metalingus. A hard rock anthem about power and determination.

The crowd is jumping up and down, singing every word of the song right along with Kennedy. The energy is intense as everyone shows their appreciation to the performance we have been treated to.

After a brief pause, Alter Bridge returns to the stage for one last song. After thanking everyone for coming out, the band blasts into Rise Today. The song is about what you can do to change the world into a better place. The crowd spend their remaining energy with fist pounding in the air and losing the rest of their voices singing along!

Alter Bridge put on an amazing show! They played a setlist packed with their greatest hits while mixing in a few newer songs. The crowd was on their feet the entire time, singing along and cheering for every song. It was an unforgettable night to say the least!

Alter Bridge Setlist: Silver Tongue – Addicted to Pain – Ghost of Days Gone By – Broken Wings – Burn it Down – Cry of Achilles – Watch Over You – In Loving Memory – Blackbird – Come to Life – Fable of the Silent Son – Isolation – Open Your Eyes – Metalingus – Rise Today

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