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TBills Blog: From the Black Hills to Turkey legs and a Petting Zoo

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After packing the streets of downtown Rapid City for Summer Nights, it was time to do the same thing up in Spearfish, SD for Downtown Friday nights. It felt weird to come home and sleep in my own bed after a show. After a summer full of street dances playing all across the midwest, staying in hotels every weekend, it was a relief. On Friday some of us worked, some of us slept, and a few of us met up for some burritos before heading into Spearfish in the afternoon to set up. It was a beautiful afternoon. They got the street closed down and band and crew worked together to get set up as fast as we could. Judd Hoos was going to have an opener before the show. And not just any opener but Shane’s son, Keithan’s band, Four Letter Agency was playing before us. So once we sound checked we got them up and running onas some of our gear and sounding good. There was already a good crowd around 6 pm when they started. Four Letter Agency played really well and even rocked a couple covers that Judd Hoos does.

The sun was setting, the temperature was cooling down, and Judd Hoos was about to take the stage. It was another no shower/quick change before the show for the third time in a row this week. But we went on with a powerful first set and the people of Spearfish were really into it. After our break the street was packed down the whole block that was closed off. The weather was perfect and the fans were fantastic. We played until 9 and they wanted us to keep playing… So we did! We played a good 30 more minutes for everyone ending with a Judd Hoos original, Stand Up. It turned out to be another really fun show. Tear down was quick and not too painful. Everyone was working hard and we didn’t have any storms coming in this time. The crew was going to leave from Spearfish and start heading straight to MN for our gig on Saturday. We were done so early again it was weird to have the rest of the night. Judd Hoos all went our separate ways and back to our own beds once more before we had to hit the road early in the morning.

It felt like a normal Friday morning meeting at the Flying J and loading up in the van to get on I 90. Except it was Saturday and we were going 8 hours for only one gig. Yes an 8 hour drive… We were all going pretty crazy by the end of it. Luckily we all like each other. At least enough not to kill each other from spending so much time together. This was going to be our fourth show in a row, AND we had just spent every night the week before playing at rally. So ya, we all have definitely spent a lot of time together the last two weeks. Anyways, we finally pulled into the little town of Appleton, MN and found the County Fair where we were playing. We were greeted at the gate by some friendly people and were escorted next to the stage. Judd Hoos decided to walk around just a little before getting into the set up. There was a little petting zoo we walked through and got to see pigs, goats, an arctic fox, and even a little kangaroo! I think Andy wanted to take it home, but I reminded him he already has one baby he needs to take care of, let alone a kangaroo!

We all got to work with the crew who had already done a lot of work and finished set up and sound check. Shane heard the demolition derby going on in the grand stands so we followed him over to a fence and were watching it for a few minutes. Until this guy came over and informed us that we cant be peeking over the fence unless we had a ticket! Didn’t he know that we were the band!!? Unfortunately the only hotel that could be booked for us was 20 miles away. So we loaded up and headed over to our rooms to do our normal routine before a gig. Well it certainly wasn’t normal this week. It was actually pretty weird to be able to shower and get ready before a show like we normally do. We were cutting it close again and showed back up to the gig right before we were supposed to go on. We had a nice air conditioned camper behind the stage, which turned out to be very convenient considering how hot and humid the night turned out to be.

Judd Hoos took the stage and we rocked through a quick first set to get peoples attention. You could tell they liked us even if there weren’t a lot of people coming up to the front of the stage because everyone sitting down had their eyes and ears on us the whole time. We came off stage super hot and some of us soaking in our own sweat! We were here to make an impression so after our break we came back with a long heavy hitter second set. It was not too long after the first chord that we had a packed dance floor in front of us with people losing their minds over some Judd Hoos rock n roll! This gig in Appleton was not as busy as our last three nights but the energy of the crowd that we did have was awesome. I could tell that we were pretty tired from this run of ours we had this week. Playing four shows in a row with little time in between to do anything wore us all out. We played really well though. I remember a point in the show where I was smiling and I thought, “This smile isn’t fake, I sincerely enjoy this and am not sick of it at all. And I wont ever be.” It was a great feeling to have.

The crew wanted to get on the road and head back to the other side of SD as soon as they could so they went to work hard. Some of us might have found some delicious turkey legs for our after show munchies. They hit the spot. What is a county fair without a turkey leg or some kind of meat on a stick!? We helped the crew get everything in the trailer very quickly and they were off. We ended up going over to a campsite for a little while and having a classic JH after party jam for some new and old fans. It was fun! We had not had the chance or energy to do that all week. We finally realized if we weren’t playing that we were almost falling asleep in our camping chairs so we said goodbye and headed back to the hotel for sleepy time.

It was such a fun week and weekend! Judd Hoos played in front of some of the biggest crowds we have played for all summer! Literally thousands of people heard and saw us play in the last 2 weeks let alone the last four days. Between opening up for Hairball, Summer nights in Rapid and Spearfish, and the fair in Appleton, Judd Hoos was kicking ass and taking names this week. We are all really proud of the progress we have made this summer and wouldn’t have anything to amount to without you fans out there. Thanks for giving us the love and support on our social media and coming to our shows. We love what we do, but it would not be near as fun without all of you. So thank you again. And stay tuned for more on the road with Judd Hoos. We are going to be in the Black Hills all week so come check us out at the county fair and in Sturgis on Friday!

TBills

Summer Nights, Had me a Blast!

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It was great to go to sleep somewhat earlier than we usually do after a show after seeing the Hairball show. But it was time to go back home. And not like usual either. Judd Hoos was going back to rock Rapid City for Summer Nights! Bob Z and the crew left a little earlier than us to get the truck and trailer there on time. The rest of us lazy sleepy heads got up and packed into the ice man around 10. It felt good to be back in our mini van. Like everything was right in the world. It is not a Prevost bus (not yet) but it is our bus to us and we feel pretty comfy traveling in it. Well other than the super human Shane who needs a basketball player sized vehicle at all times. For some reason we all came out of the hotel with some kind of blue shirt on! We were officially the blue team on this rainy Thursday.

The ride was good. We went through some pretty crazy rain storms and were happy to see some sunshine once we came across the state a little ways. Except we were not excited to see overcast and rain clouds coming into Rapid in the afternoon. We went to the Flying J first and everyone got their own cars and then we all convoyed to downtown Rapid to help the crew get set up as fast as we could. I know after the day we had before we were all hoping to get set up and sound checked in time to get a shower in before the show. Wishful thinking. We did however get set up pretty fast! Lots of help. It was good to see one of our favorite crew guys, Q, there to help. Once we were done sound checking, Shane, Andy, Chris, Devin, and I had about 30 minutes to cruise over to the hotel. We ran up to one room and were all stripping down into a change of clothes, spraying and rolling on whatever we had to make us seem not so stinky and trying to look like rockstars. I have to say we were pretty successful. We were back at the stage 5 minutes before start time.

We started strong. The street was already filling up. We played a short first set. It was so hot! We were watching the radar while playing hoping that none of the surrounding storms were going to rain on our parade. We only got sprinkled on all night. After visiting with some fans, friends, and families, we hit the stage again for the long second set. The street was packed by now. I could see people all the way down the street. It felt so good to play in front of my new home town. And I could feel the energy from the other guys in the band as well. There is always this good feeling to play in front of people we know like our wives and families. It was definitely humid and hot but that didn’t stop us from rocking.

By the end of the night we had the front of the stage surrounded with Judd Hoos fans going crazy. It was such a fun night and such a great crowd. Once again we were done earlier than usual. We did some autographs, talked to fans, took some pictures with people, and by then we all knew we had to start tearing down our equipment. Our pace quickened when we saw lighting coming in from all around us. There was a huge storm coming into Rapid! Both crew and band worked really hard to get everything in the trailer. It started to sprinkle as we were putting the last of the gear into the trailer and then it was pouring by the time we were pulling up the trailer door. Perfect timing.

Some of us headed to the Vertex roof top bar to enjoy a few drinks with our good friend Dean Kinney. It was a great way to end a great night in Rapid City. Thanks to all of you who came out and supported us. I think we made a statement that Rapid needs to keep Summer Nights going. So now that most of us got to sleep in our own beds, we are headed over to Spearfish tonight to rock Downtown Friday Nights. If you missed us last night in Rapid or want your face rocked off again then come on down! Stay tuned for more on the road with Judd Hoos!

TBills