WORDS BY DAVID TAYLOR AND PHOTOS BY ROBERT A CHADWICK
On Thursday, August 31, the mighty Alter Bridge made their long-awaited return to the Stir Cove stage at Harrah’s Casino in Council Bluffs with the last date of their North American leg of the Pawns and Kings Tour. It’s been since 2011 since they played a gig there, or even the metro area, so it was glad to have them back. But, they brought along the legendary Sevendust and the up-and-coming MJT with them. The weather was incredible, the perfect amount of a high temperature and breeze. It was the best night to see live music.
MJT, a power trio from Long Island, NY, were the openers of the show. All three of the members were brothers, which you usually never see in bands. They were not your average radio rock band that usually opens on a bill with two heavy hitters of the scene. These guys are real musicians who know how to vibe to the music. It was like a combination of funk, jazz, rock, and progressive. They were a challenge for the audience, but I understand why Alter Bridge asked them to go on tour with them because they are talented musicians who perform real music. They ended their set with a medley of Led Zeppelin covers, which was a delight. MJT were a breath of fresh air. It was also fun seeing them out in the crowd when Alter Bridge started, meeting new fans of theirs. Check out their latest EP, Mr. NoOne, Pt. 1.
Sevendust from Atlanta, GA, were the direct support. You would have to think Alter Bridge had to respectfully consider bringing out Sevendust on this tour, as they always bring it live every night. But, I just think Alter Bridge are huge fans of Sevendust. This was my third time seeing them live, so I was very excited to see them. The guitar attack between Clint Lowery and John Connolly was ferocious. The rhythm section of bassist Vince Hornsby and drummer Morgan Rose was tight. And the amazing vocals of one Lajon Witherspoon were electric. Full circle story, last time I saw Alter Bridge in Kansas City earlier this year, Lajon was at the show, so it was almost like tonight was written in the stars. And I loved seeing most of the band wear Alter Bridge shirts on stage. The crowd was rocking out hard. What a great lead-in to Alter Bridge. Check out their latest album, Truth Killer.
Alter Bridge from Florida was ready to take the stage. I wasn’t expecting to cover Alter Bridge twice in one year, but I just love it when artists I adore play in my backyard. They are just a perfect band. The artistry is top-notch. Every musician is at the top of their game. It was nice seeing the band wearing Sevendust shirts. Myles Kennedy mentioned he had good memories at this venue, saying the day before he and Slash played a gig in 2019, they got to see Gary Clark Jr. the night before. He had another incredible vocal performance. Mark Tremonti continues to be an all-time shredder. The crowd sounded amazing singing the songs. I just wish Alter Bridge would come here more often, but I understand touring is hard for a mid-major market like Omaha when Myles Kennedy has double duty between this and Slash. Another solid performance from Alter Bridge, especially it being their last one of the current North American tour. I hope it won’t take twelve years the next time they play the metro area. Check out their latest album, Pawns & Kings.