TBills Blog: We’re on a boat!

Open Road

The Open Road

It was another routine Flying J meet and load up the van. That was probably that last normal thing about this last weekend. The Bills Bros arrived a little late considering a blown up garbage disposal. According to Devin there was a lot of “black water” that came out spilling onto the floor. Shane got a kick out of that. But thanks to our awesome maintenance guy, who has nick named Devin and I Hollywood and Hollywood Junior, we got it fixed and were loading up with the rest of the guys in no time. Judd Hoos was headed to Sioux City for Awesome Biker Nights. The weather was looking good and we didn’t have to worry about rain, tents, and tarps. We did however have to face an indirect attack from the weather. Due to heavy rain the river had flooded and made the highway close down. So we went on a crazy detour to get to Sioux City. The drive was gorgeous. There was this amazing mix of blue, green, and white outside that made you feel like you were staring out into a painting. The band stopped at Guitar Center in Sioux Falls to pick up a few necessities. Apparently our crew was running late with leaving and setting up so we were not in too big of a hurry. But because of the long but scenic detour, we had to go straight to sound check as soon as we got into town.

Catching some Sun

Catching some Sun

It was super hot outside. The stage was set up on a portable trailer stage and facing right into the afternoon sun. We worked on our tans as we worked on setting up the rest of our gear and sound checking as fast as possible. There was a band opening for us so we cleared off the stage so they could sound check and start there set. We decided to head to the hotel to shower up and get pretty before show time. We cut it a little close, but were on stage and rocking into our first set on time. There were lots of bikers and what seemed like an older crowd that really liked our rock and classic rock songs. Although during Metallica we broke a 50 amp breaker and all the power on stage went out. It kind of worked out because we fixed it, took a longer break, and came back on to play a long set for the rest of the night. The crowd came up to the stage but stopped like 4 feet away. I was wondering what going on and realized there were a few security guys making sure nobody came too close to the stage. It was a super fun show and went by so fast. It was so nice out but very hot on stage. There ended up being a huge crowd and loving all our songs including our originals!

Judd Hoos loaded out as quick as we could. We had an extra crew guy, Jordan, helping us this weekend. It was nice to have some extra hands and someone who was really into the band. After getting everything in the trailer it was still pretty early in the night so we all decided to walk across town to go to the bar. We ended up at the Firehouse, where we will be playing at the end of August. And having a few drinks before deciding we all wanted to go back to the hotel and jam! We somehow got all separated. Shane, Chris, and Andy ended up in a parking garage somewhere in Sioux City. I also remember hearing the new crew guy Jordan saying, “Hey make sure you don’t leave without me!” Devin and I were bringing the van back the hotel when we saw some guy walking by himself and looked lost. It was Jordan! We gave him a ride to the crew. Finally everyone made it to the hotel. This ended up being an epic jam session. Which was long over due. The band, the crew, and some awesome old and new Judd Hoos fans crammed into mine and Devin’s room. There was both music and beer a plenty and I can’t believe we didn’t have anyone come tell us to quiet down. Shout out to Faith for sharing her talents with us and singing some songs. The  more responsible band members went to their rooms to get some sleep while some of us stayed up. And even when the not so responsible crew and band members went to their beds, there were still some of us that stayed up to party. I think Devin and I were shutting our eyes long after the sun had come up.

The next morning— oh well it was already the next morning! Devin and I went down and made sure our van was still there! And waited for the rest of the guys. I don’t know why the two guys that went to bed last didn’t sleep in, but that is how it happened. We loaded up and stopped at Burger King on the way out of town. BK never tasted so good. Rockstars seem to have this way of starving themselves until they actually have time to eat, and then we stuff our faces. I still don’t know how Andy eats a bacon Whopper so fast. Pretty impressive.

Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers Band

Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers Band

Some of the boys in Judd Hoos slept a lot on the way to Warner SD. We didn’t have too bad of a drive. The band was staying in the “grand” White House Inn in Aberdeen. Warner was just straight down the road. But before we checked into the hotel we went straight to the stage to sound check. We were having another band open for us again, but this time it was going to be the legendary band from Wyoming, Chancey Williams and Younger Brother’s Band. Everyone in Judd Hoos was super excited to share the stage with our good friends and fellow Homeslice artists. We all got our stuff sounding good while working on our tans some more setting up in the sun. Chancey and the gang showed up and we helped them get oriented on stage so they could sound check too. They sound checked one of my favorite songs they do, Seminole Wind. I like the way they do it better than the original. We said goodbye to them and hurried back to the White House so we could get ready and come back to catch their show.


We were finally slicked up and ready to watch some live country music. Our sound guy Aron really did a great job at mixing them and they sounded awesome. Many die hard CW fans were up in front of the stage along with many young girls admiring Chancey. Near the end of their show I got called up on stage to perform one of their originals, She Loves me Anyway. Devin, Andy, and I had done a video of it earlier in the week and I couldn’t wait to actually sing it with them. It was so fun performing on stage with them and watching the crowd sing along. By the end of their set the crowd was more than warmed up and wanted an encore after an encore. But it was time for Judd Hoos to take the stage. We got everything in place. I could feel everyones energy was high and excited to play in front of a big crowd who was so eager to hear us play. We took the stage! Whenever I am up there during the intro we play over the PA I get so pumped while I tune my guitar for the last time and hit the first chord. We were definitely off to the races. We had a one long set we were doing that was stacked with great songs. The crowd was really digging it. I kept looking off to the side of the stage and seeing Chancey and the gang rocking out made me want to rock out that much more. We got him, Travis, and Brooke up on stage for Copperhead Road. It was so cool! I couldn’t believe I was performing next to Brooke and Chancey again in one night. I had to pull out one of my in ears just so I could hear Brooke tear it up on the violin during the song.

Huge Warner Crowd!

Huge Warner Crowd!

We continued to play with tons of energy. During Black Eyed Peas I noticed this guy climbing up on some of the front lights on the speakers to get on stage. At first I thought it was Jordan or another crew guy. But then I noticed him grabbing my other guitar. Chris was already on it and grabbing him by the ear to get off stage. Unfortunately the guitar took a fall, but the security guys were finally coming over to grab him off stage. I was so angry I kicked him as hard as I could down the stairs. But right after that we were back into playing the song and Chris and I were smiling at each other with WTF just happened faces on. There were so many young girls and guys in the crowd and our contemporary songs went over really well. I remember during Counting Stars at the very beginning of the song I just stopped singing and let the crowd take over. It was incredible hearing almost everyone singing back to me. I also remember looking over to the side of the stage and seeing this pretty blonde fiddle player losing her mind and jumping up and down. I couldn’t help but smile and rock out that much harder. We had such a good show. Before we ended we had another incident where a couple guys jumped up on stage. But this time it was Chancey and Wyatt in their underwear with guitars and cowboy hats dancing around the stage. I wish someone would have gotten a picture. We finished strong with our new favorite encore, our original Delilah.
After the show we all hung out with the CWYBB before having to go load out. It was so fun getting to spend time with them and have such a good night. We all worked together to get stuff put away. Chancey and the gang took off because they had to get on the road very early while the rest of us went to the bar and had one last drink with the bar owners before heading back to Aberdeen to get some sleep after the long day.

We're on a boat!

We’re on a boat!

Saturday turned out to be an epic day as well. We all got out to the hotel lobby and Shane was like, “So i think we should go to Nick’s house. He invited us to go out on his boat.” No one was about to disagree. As long as we had the time and energy, which we did. Well we might have been a little tired but not too tired for going on a lake! But before we went to Nicks we had to stop at the local Qdoba and get our burrito on. Yummmm. We rolled into the ice man and headed to the lake. I wish I could assure the band wives and loved ones at home that this was not at all fun or amazing… but I can’t say that. haha! It was epic. I took a ride in the front for the first bit as we cruised along the shores of this big lake. We looked at these amazing lake houses with some of their boat garages bigger than our houses back home. All while sipping on some cold ones from Nick. We went to the local bar on one of the lake beaches and had some tall ones while all just joking around with each other. After that I decided I was going to try to wakeboard. It is definitely pretty challenging! I took some bad spills and finally got back in the boat. I told Andy I had swallowed too much lake water. As we went around the lake some more Andy got in and tried to surf the wake and Shane got in and showed us all up with his water skiing skills! We cruised around blasting Turn Down for What on Nicks awesome sound system while Shane Dawg skied. Doesn’t sound like much fun does it? We finally got back to Nicks and got all dry and told Nick we had to get on the road for our next show. A huge shout out to Nick for letting us come out on your boat. Chris said, “This stuff doesn’t happen very often.” So we are very fortunate for being able to enjoy the first day of summer like that. Thanks Nick!

weather

We’re surrounded by some nasty weather

Back on the road we stopped in Aberdeen to get a few things and were on our way up to Fredonia, ND. Not a long drive, but turned into a scary one! We ran into a scary tornado-like storm. Shane was driving and got us all through it safely. We thought the roof rocket might take flight with all our luggage! It was so windy. Finally made it to the little town of Fredonia. The crew had set up a decent amount of stuff for us. We were concerned it was going to rain on us. There were some nasty storms headed through the midwest. Sound check was quick as we all needed to get back to the hotel and wash the lake stank off us before we played. Cam Cam (one of our newer and youngest roadies) suffered from a bad case of heat stroke and had to be taken to the hospital to get an IV. So we took him back to the hotel with us to stay for the night. Bob Z had his camper there and was in one of the best moods we had seen him in in a while. It was such a catalyst for all of us. Especially because it wasn’t the biggest of crowds or most energetic. But we put on a kick ass first set until it was cut short because of some wicked dark clouds moving in fast. We tarped up everything and was watching radar as much as we could. It never ended up hitting us. We finally got back on stage to play and it sprinkled a bit. We just played through it and rocked out for the good dedicated fans! By the end of the show people were crowded up next to the front of the stage singing along with all their favorite tunes. We sold so many shirts! It was a great night. And could have turned into a very wet one if those storms took a bad turn. So we were grateful we didn’t have to battle the rain at all this weekend.

We hung out for a bit with some new fans until we got back to the stage to tear down and load out. We all worked together to get done as fast as we could. You could tell that we were all pretty tired from three shows in a row. We finally all loaded up and headed back to our little hotel house up the road. Most of us hit the sack pretty fast.

In the morning we all got up to get ready to go back to Rapid City. I came into the living room of this little hotel house and the crew were all sitting there watching this cheerleading movie called Bring It On…. yep that’s the crew for Judd Hoos. haha! we love them though… well love is a strong word. Anyways we parted ways with them and Shane took the first shift back. You could tell Shane was tired. He was so quiet until he was like, “There is nothing f**ckin up here at all!” He really needed his coffee. We were playing with fire with our gas gauge and finally made it to a small little town running on fumes. The rest of the drive went by really fast and we got back to our loved ones in the afternoon on Sunday.

So besides some of the same routines and things we do every weekend this last weekend was far from ordinary. Between playing three shows in a row, sharing the stage with Chancey Williams, and going on a boat it was an epic weekend. Thanks to all who helped make these street dances and events possible. Friday night was one of the biggest crowds we have played for this summer. Thank you to the fans new and old who keep supporting us and coming back to shows to see us rock. We are gearing up for a rock n roll weekend in South Dakota this week so get ready and stay tuned for more on the road with Judd Hoos blogs.

– TBills

Highlights of the Weekend:
jam session in the hotel
Chancey Williams and gang
Nick’s boat! and the lake
Delilah encore

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