So today is a day off, well actually there are no days off, just days without gigs!
With this in mind, some of the guys took advantage of the hotel’s laundry service to wash a few things considering there was no particular rush. Brian was very adventurous, taking a dip in the pool and having a go in the hot tub.
We left San Diego at around 14:30 for a seven hour journey to Tuscon, Arizona and about half way there we stopped at a space and alien themed diner to freshen up and try the local culinary delights, and I can tell you the food was out of this world!
After another sterling effort from Karl behind the wheel we arrived at the hotel at 23:00 and checked in. Making full use of the day off to top up the energy levels was imperative so getting a good night’s kip was top of the agenda, however, the local train drivers hadn’t read the script. Those guys have the noisiest air horns I’ve ever heard and they weren’t shy in using them, whatever the time. Let’s just say I didn’t need to set my alarm.
The next morning we set off for Las Cruces in New Mexico for the gig at Picacho Peak Brewery. After breakfast we all try and take a couple of pieces of fruit, an apple and a banana maybe, which some of us eat during the journey. One of us however, usually drops his banana on the van floor and stands on it. This has happened three days in a row now and I won’t reveal the perpetrator, except to say it’s become mandatory to shout “mind your bananas lads” every time Abbz steps into the van!
We arrived at the venue which is a bit out of the way and I look around and imagine all the people coming down from those there hills en-masse for the gig. I had visions of “the hills have eyes” and “here piggy piggy”… eek!
This was an outdoor gig and the setting looked really nice. The place brewed its own beer and I had no choice but to sample one of the brews after getting told off for bringing my own beer in with the dude explaining they can be hit with a $10,000 fine for allowing any alcohol other than their own on the premises… yeah, OK!
I had a chat to William the bar man who ran me through the beers and I chose a nice German Wheat at 5.8% – not too shabby.
William was proud to tell me his cousin plays for Coventry City in the EFL though his name escapes me now. It shouldn’t be too hard to find it out and keep tabs on him.
There were three support bands tonight and all were very credible. They had driven two hours from way out in the hills to be here tonight and said they felt so privileged to play on the same stage as Diamond Head. This is the general feeling I get wherever we are, with some people telling me they had waited thirty-five years to get the chance to see the band.
Lily was the wife of one of the band’s guitarists, and she had provided and prepared all the food for the band tonight. We had elk, a first for all of us, which was hunted by one of their friends in the hills. There was also turkey with devilled eggs and salad, and home made cheesecake to finish. Awesome hospitality.
When the sun went down it was the first time I had felt cold since we arrived in the States, and a hoodie was soon acquired from the van, though I was still the only one wearing shorts.
Before the guys hit the stage they present some awesome prizes to Brianna, who is the second winner of the #amievilface competition, and her name now goes into a finale draw at the end of the tour for some extra special goodies, so if you haven’t done so already, get your most #amievilface sent over to the band’s Instagram page with the hashtags #amievilface and #diamondheadustour2016 to be in with a chance of winning this awesome competition.
The band played a blinding set and despite a couple of sound issues the hillbillies lapped it all up in boisterous style, and at the end a few of them jumped on stage to get their photos taken with Brian. I imagine they probably didn’t want to take the chance of not getting to see him for another thirty-five years!
Next stop back to Arizona.
“Without Diamond Head, none of this would have existed…”
Lars Ulrich – Metallica