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Darkest Hour: tour-diary of supporting Machine Head

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Nov. 21: Zurich, Switzerland: Chocolate overdose. Need I say more? It was a cold day when we rolled into Zurich but the fans were definitely not. The show was awesome but we spent most the day partying inside (remote control helicopters are the craze on this tour and here’s a picture of our collection. Featuring members of Darkest Hour, Bring Me the Horizon, and Machine Fucking Head!

Nov. 23: Paris, France: Today in France we played one of the biggest venues we have ever played as a band. In the center of town the Zenith is well, basically an arena that is bad ass! This was by far our best show in Paris ever. We found time to hit the streets to see tower and all the sights. We didn’t get to go to Morison’s grave, but hey you have to leave some sights for next time!

Nov. 24: Neu-Esenburg, Germany: Needless to say we had never been to Neu-Esenburg but the show was off the hook in true German fashion. I know that German’s love their metal but these German’s LOVE “MACHINE FUCKING HEAD!” I am pretty proud at this point that we haven’t got boo’d off the stage or chanted at and were feeling pretty good. Today was also the American celebration of Thanksgiving. Now I don’t buy into the bullshit surrounding this made up holiday. BUT, I do like me some turkey. So thanks to the dudes in Machine Head for hooking it up. Here is a pic of my turkey dinner!

Nov. 25: Munich, Germany: Ah, Munich! We have spent a lot of time in this city. After all it is the home town of our first Euro record label (the now deceased Join the Team Player Records) as well as our current booking agency Avocado. We went out saw the downtown Christmas fair and ate some amazingl German food! We love all our bro’s from Avocado and it felt like home for a minute. Here is JH, Marco, and I…looking like true dudes!

Nov. 26: Ludwigsburg, Germany: Another German town we never been to! I can’t believe it. But I’m not going to lie. This was a slow day. I mean hey they happen sometimes. But slow day’s on tour can be fun to. I mean we did rock an Arena and the crowd did show some love. But in the end, we were still sleeping off that hangover from Munich!

Nov. 27: Trier, Germany: Day off show! In one of our favorite parts of Germany, Trier! We have some good old friends there who always know how to put on a metal/punk show and boy did they. It was a nice change from the Arena’s (although don’t quote me on that cause I do love to rock an Arena). We got to play a much longer set, party with our bro’s, taste some truly amazing wine, and to put it short, we just hand amazing time that night. Oh and here is a pic of Tim and some crazy small car! We need these things in America, there would be parking EVERYWHERE!

Nov. 28: Tilburg, Holland: Look we like Holland cause we like to buy weed. Yeah there I said it, so what, we were stoked! As soon as we loaded in we headed down to a few of the coffee shop’s. We spent all day chilling, smoking, and just enjoying the culture of Holland. Oh the other bands did too, I think at one point this café down the street looked like it might have well been the back stage area cause everyone was partying Holland style! The show was awesome, a bit smaller of a club then the other days but it just made the PA we’re hauling around with us sound AMAZING. I love it when you have a ton of power and a nice size room. You can really blow some tit’s off! Rob from Machine Head let me borrow his guitar to play a song of ours that they had requested to hear (Savor the Kill). Dude here is a pic of me and the guitar..I can’t believe I didn’t steal it!

Nov. 29: Brussels, Belgium: It was a rainy cold day as we rolled into town. When the wind and the cold kick up it makes a brother want to just stay inside and never leave his bunk. Don’t get me wrong we still woke up, loaded in, rocked, partied, and then passed out. But I’m ashamed to admit that we didn’t get out to see the city. Again another slower day (I guess if you consider this rock show we are playing every night slow…its enough to keep you entertained all day!

Nov. 30: Oberhausen, Germany: Our last night in Germany and the fan’s didn’t let us down one bit. I think we played the most shows in Germany then any other country on this tour. That’s usually true for all Euro tours we do but tonight was Germany’s last night to party! We had a killer backstage set up this day and it really made for good time’s and vibes amongst the band members. Dave from Machine Head, Lonestar (other Darkest Hour guitarist) and I decided to start a cover band today. Machine Head sets up a little jam room every day they can and so when Dave burst in our dressing room with a list of songs to learn (Kiss, ACDC , Van Halen – you know the classics) we couldn’t wait to learn them and start jamming!

Dec. 1: Esch-Alzette, Luxembourg :, Europe’s smallest country? That’s what we heard, but it didn’t matter today. The venue was super nice, new, and located right next to what can only be described as a shopping explosion! Christmas fair’s, mall’s, and people all over the place. We walked around for a bit (but mainly just people watched at this mall) and then headed back to the show. Here is a pic of our good bro Dean (Tech from Bring Me the Horizon) working on my Jackson, after all this rocking it needed a pro to look at it!

Dec. 2: Cardiff, UK: Welcome to jolly old England, I can tell you the Bring Me the Horizon guy’s couldn’t wait to get back to their home country. And while the other bands had a day off we played in lovely Cardiff. Here is a nice reminder that things are not always awesome on tour. We showed up late, in crazy traffic, rain everywhere, and it was cold as all hell! We had to load in down this long street and up two flights of stairs. All to play for about 30 people, yep the UK can be a tough place. So to all the kids that came out on this night thanks so much, it meant a lot to us that you were there!

Dec. 3: London, UK: Oh shit! The day we had all been waiting for. This was the biggest Machine Head headlining show to date and also the first time they had ever played Wembley. If you’re not from the UK then you might not know, but playing Wembley is a big deal, Why, cause it’s a BIG ASS VENUE! You can see in the pics, of course, but the pics don’t tell the whole story. There were rockstars in the house tonight. We had the pleasure of not only meeting the dudes from Dragon Force for the first time but also getting to party with them. See tonight was the back stage party to end all parties. We had been saving beer and liquor for weeks just for this day. We brought in ALL the alcohol off the bus placed it in the center of the dressing room and announced we were going to drink it all. And we did (with a little help as I mentioned)! I cant stress how much of an insane show this was and so different from just the night before in Cardiff, I guess all I can say is Machine Fucking Head! Here is a picture of the crowd as they rocked!

Dec. 4: Birmingham, UK: When we all woke up from the night before I think half of us were still drunk. Man this is what I call a hangover. My head is pounding just thinking about it. Lots of water, juice, and fruit was pumped into our bodies in some shameless attempt to be “healthy.” Regardless we still all managed to rock Birmingham and the venue, the NIA, was even BIGGER then Wembley. I couldn’t even believe it when we walked in. Sure enough, the place was full and the home of some great British metal did not disappoint! I remember ending the set with a “Goodnight Birmingham!” – it felt good just to hear it man, legendary!

Dec. 5: Glasgow, UK: Not to be outdone, Glasgow’s venue was equally as impressive (size wise anyway). This was the first day we had some REAL snow and I’ll admit it for a second we thought the snow might scare fans away. That was NOT the case and minutes after doors the room was full of eager metal heads ready to mosh their arss’s off! There is just something about the Scottish, man they love to party and get rowdy! I love it, these are my type of people, loud and proud! Now I know up to this point hanging with Entombed and Dragon Force is cool, but tonight more rock stars were partying.That’s right Trivium, In Flames, and Rise to Remain all had a day off in Glasgow and ended up partying in the back stage. Since tonight was basically the last day of tour everyone went big. Windows were smashed, tables turned over, man it was an all out rager. Here is Lonestar after body shots! – Yeah you know you want to do a shot right out of that belly button! ADMIT IT!

Dec. 6: Manchester UK: LAST DAY OF TOUR! That’s what you could hear all day around the arena. The party last night was epic and honestly hard to follow up. Last days are always so crazy. Everyone runs around, saying good bye to each other, packing their gear and cloths up, trying to find their ipod’s, paying back each other for cigarette’s smoked. Its like a strange last day of summer camp. I, of course, spent all day saying my goodbyes and enjoying our last day (at least for a while) of rocking arena’s. The show was great (minus the bullshit reaction of the crowd during Bring Me’s set – I don’t understand, if you don’t like a band just don’t watch, why do people have to be so brutal to these dudes?) and when the last chord was struck it really felt like we had all been on an adventure. We couldn’t have been more honored to have toured with such great bands. Devil Driver, Machine Head, And Bring Me the Horizon are all good dudes in my book. We’re happy to have made so many friends and seen so many cool things along the way. Thanks for reading, and if you ever see Darkest Hour advertised in your town come on out and hang with us, cause I can promise you one thing, there is always a party backstage!

Darkest Hour / Machine Head Tour Diary 2011

Captains Log – Star Date: Nov. 01 2011 AD: Greetings earthlings, it is I, Mike Schleibaum guitarist for the band Darkest Hour and now your tour guide to all things, 8th Plague Tour Related! We couldn’t be more stoked to be a part of the ongoing 8th Plague tour featuring: Machine “Fucking” Head (apparently that is their real name, if you ever go to see them live, you’ll see why), Bring Me the Horizon, Devil Driver, and of course Darkest Hour.  So here is a little recap of the craziness that I can tell you about. And about all the stories I can’t print in public well just understand, we’re grown ass men and we can’t have all that dirty laundry showing up all over Google.

Nov. 01: Just rocked Oslo, Norway at the Sentrum Scene. Jet lagged as hell but more than ready to rock the first night was a great mix of sleep depravation and alcohol consumption. The crowd was great and we couldn’t have asked for a better first night. Dudes turned in early that’s for sure but we were off to a great start.

Nov. 03: Stockholm Sweden at the Arenan. There had to be photographic proof (which is provided here) of one of the sickest moments of my life. Yep not only was the show amazing, proving once again Scandinavia loves it’s metal, but there was also true metal royalty in the house. Tonight I met for the first time LG Petrov, lead singer for the mighty Entombed. Meeting LG was of course badass; Entombed has been a long time musical influence to the dudes in DH and well two days in, who could ask for more?

Nov. 05: Tompere-talon, Finland. Ah life on the ferry. As you can see we had a great time the night before but, the hangover was a bit much the next day, believe me. Here’s a quick pick that I think says it all. If you have never partied on a ferry I suggest you try, it’s definitely a European tradition. The catering at this show was out of sight. I ate fish till I thought I was going to turn into one. GOOD TIMES!

Nov. 06: Helsinki, Finland. Helsinki brought the rock let me tell you. They do not fuck around with metal in Finland. The line for the show wrapped around the block and down the street for what seemed like forever. Its so amazing to see a culture that embrace’s metal the way some of the Northern European countries do. Although I didn’t get a pic of the line I did get a killer pic of the “beam bomb” crew – featuring of course Mr. Dave McClain of Machine Head fame.  What’s a beam bomb, it’s a killer combination of Jim Beam and red bull, and it definitely gets’er done.

Nov. 08: Copenhagen, Denmark. We love Copenhagen; especially a little known placed called Christiania. As soon as we got into town we headed down there to hang for a good time. Later that night the show was a classic ragger, what a perfect day. Actually, amazingly enough the highlight of the day happened during the long trip from Helsinki. Our amazing driver Tomas Maladek took us to one of the most somber memorials I have ever been too, the Cliff Burton memorial site. Located somewhere south of Stockholm. The picture says it all. Cliff’s life was and still is an inspiration to us, Rest in Peace, your music lives on!

Nov. 09: Hamburg, Germany. Tonight we rocked, Grosse Freiheit 36 and there is just nothing like a metal concert in Germany! Especially one that is located in the Red Light district. Hamburg kept it real as fuck and since you should never take pictures or photographic evidence in Hamburg here is a picture of our ride. Yeah she is a good old bus and getting us to every show. It’s strange but Hamburg is the like Vegas, what happens in Hamburg stays in Hamburg.

Nov. 10: Dresden, Germany: Another sold out night in Germany. The show killed and we took the party vibe up a notch in a serious way. Everyone on the tour is starting to really get to know each other and now it more resembles a traveling circus. Hours spent eating together, working together, rocking together, and of course partying together have got this tour going in the right direction. Machine Head threw an intimate party for crew and bands this night and it was out of hand. Many, many, classic jams were played, brews were drank, and…well you had to be there.

Nov. 11: Budapest, Hungry: One of the few off date from the tour, tonight in Budapest we headlined. Budapest has been one of our favorite spots to tour ever since our very first trip to Europe. We have a special bond to the scene in that city and I am sure we will be headed back there many more times to come. We played with some killer Hungarian bands including, The Southern Oracle, you should check them jams out. The after party went late into the night and all I remember is waking up in….

Nov. 12: Vienna, Austria: oh..Austria. No offense to the earlier dates of the tour but Austria ROCKED! The best show of the tour so far, it’s true I am sorry. The Austrian’s partied and they partied hard. Look this pic, it says more then words do trust me, sick concert!

Nov. 13: Milan, Italy: Look, I know that everyone in Italy would kill me if I told them that the pizza from the Auto Grill is my favorite but, come on it really hits the spot when your hung over. That’s the touring life though. Yep we had no time to sight see but we did have time to rock a sick ass concert as well as eat some pizza at the Auto Grill. Both ruled. We love Italy what can more can I say? We also managed to leave our tour manager and lighting tech at above mentioned Auto Grill. He was stranded for about an hour as our driver had to turn around and head back to pick him up. If it weren’t for free WI fi who knows when we would have found him.

Nov. 14: Montpellier, France: Our second off date of the tour. We played with some killer locals in Montpellier France. A nice change from the bigger venues, The Secrete Place proved to be great place for some intimate metal action.  As soon as the show was over it was back in the bus. Our driver Tomas Maladek is the man and he has been logging some hours on this tour let me tell you!

Nov. 15: Barcelona, Spain: Our first date in Spain and the Spanish energy was unmatched. These shows are going to be crazy and this first date set everything in motion.  We hadn’t played Spain in years and this crowd made us feel sorry for that. We spent the morning running around Barcelona checking out the sites and hoping to find a topless beach. Needless to say it was a little cold and rainy for anyone to be outside topless but were American, we can always dream. Anyway, we did the whole tourist thing and although we didn’t buy any good shirts we found some, well questionable ones!

Nov. 16: Madrid, Spain: Our second date in Spain and this show was unreal. Again we took in the sights, again we rocked hard, and again we partied with the locals.

Nov. 17: Lisban, Portugal: Our first day in Portugal and I must admit it was an unbelievable time. The city and countryside is beautiful. All the people we met were full of life and down for a good time that’s for sure. This day was so badass we had to attach two pictures. The first is at sound check and the other is the show later night. All the bands had killer sets and it was a great vibe all around, Portugal day one was a success! Hope to be back there soon!

Nov. 18: Porto Portugal: Day two in Portugal and we hit the ground running. As soon as the bus’s pulled up we drug our hung over bodies out of bed and hit the street. We walked all over the city and saw some of the sites around town. It was raining so John Henry got this dope umbrella and we tried to walk as far as we could behind him for the rest of the day, just look at the pic and you will know why. It was a lock, Portugal is amazing! We only hope we can come back soon, but as with every tour your there for a day and then your gone.

Nov. 19: Bilbao Spain: We return to Spain and in a sober haze we find our selves awake in a mall. Yes the show is taking place along side a shopping mall.  Since we had been going big for a while we decided take it easy on this day. We spent about 10 hours playing guitar straight I think. I know people look at us like were crazy, even some people on the tour, you can tell, they think were nuts. But Lonestar and I love to play guitar and that’s what we did, oh and we drank a little too. The show was high energy and we had a blast until, bus call!

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