It felt a lot longer than two weeks since our last gig. We hadn’t taken a weekend off in five months! So it was nice to be able to relax and spend time with our families. All us Judd Hoos boys were happy to see each other. Even though three of us work at the same place during the week and Devin and I see each other every day. The Bills Bros hadn’t seen the guys since we left from our show in Haxton, CO. Can you say band reunion?
We loaded up the van and all piled in to get started on the long drive down to Lincoln, NE. It was a beautiful day for traveling. Halfway through the trip Devin and Shane were having a conversation about Shane’s band history. This turned into a Judd Hoos history lesson. Which ultimately turned into a 5 hour long discussion from the first version of Judd Hoos to this last year where the Bills Bros had joined. Seriously, if I don’t do it, then somebody needs to write a book about it. Some of the things that happened for us to all be together is almost freaky. The coincidences are almost too perfect. Anyways, everyone shared their part of how they joined the band and their band history prior. Even after spending 10 months in the van together every weekend we hadn’t had this discussion yet and it was really fun to have.
We got into Lincoln and headed straight to Cappy’s to sound check quickly. The stage was set and Judd Hoos had an easy sound check. It was back to the routine: Go to hotel, check in, get something to eat if you can, iron your clothes, shower, change your strings, and load up to get back to the bar before showtime!
The show went really well. It was not as busy as we would have hoped, but the crowd that was there was great. We had people dancing on the first set. Even if there had been no one in the bar the whole night, all of us would have had a great time. You could tell that we had all missed playing music together and played really well. It is like riding a bike; you never forget how! Judd Hoos rocked Cappy’s and had a great time. Our crew guy, Q, and Devin even decided to take the show to the dance floor on a break and had everyone in the bar watching them dance. Thanks to everyone who came out. We love seeing our Lincoln buddies.
Tear down and load out wasn’t too bad considering we hadn’t done it in two weeks. We got out of there and back to the hotel were we decided to have a good ol’ fashioned Judd Hoos hotel room beer tasting. Grab your little paper cups from your rooms, cram into one room, and let’s place the beer bottles from best to worse on top of the TV. It was fun. It was a tie between a Shake Chocolate Porter and a Laughing Lab Scottish Ale. Yum.
The next morning we all dragged our bags down to the van. It was beautiful out again! The Judd Hoos boys headed to one of our favorite local eateries in Lincoln, Toast, with one of our favorite local buddies, Aaron Funk. We sat outside for probably 3 hours and soaked in the sun and talked about… well whatever six dudes talk about over coffee and burgers in the sun. It was a good relaxing lunch and it was nice to be able to take our time since our next gig was so close. We headed out towards Omaha and went straight to the hotel once we got into town.
We hung out for a bit until we had to head down to sound check. We were playing for some super fans, Justin and Amanda’s wedding reception. They had rented out a Firefighter hall and had it decked out for a rocking good time. Sound check ended up taking a while. Most of us kept getting shocked every time we would put our mouths up to our microphones. Not cool. So besides some power issues, we finally got a good line check in and hurried back to the hotel to get pretty for the gig.
This was not going to be a typical Judd Hoos show. We had a very special guest who was going to perform on stage with us. None other than the original guitar player for Judd Hoos and ultimate bad ass, Mr. Drew Lerdal. We had him all set up and ready to go for the second set. The first set was smooth and we boomed and rocked the hall. Not too many dancers but there was a little kid mosh pit going on at one point. Everyone was enjoying themselves.
The second set was epic. Judd Hoos was a 7 piece band! Drew ended up playing through almost the whole set. We played some of his favorites and had an amazing three guitar face melting solo during Folsom Prison. The night was only starting too. During the third set we had Drew get up some more and played some Judd Hoos songs that we hadn’t played in years and Devin and I had never played. Hopefully it sounded good!
Did I mention an open bar? Well needless to say it was a very fun night and not a normal Judd Hoos show. I remember getting down off the stage and watching the guys play. It took me back to when I had seen Judd Hoos in the past and thought to myself, “Woah it would be so cool to be in Judd Hoos.” Thank you so much to Justin and Amanda for having us be a part of your special night. It was a blast.
We got done loading up the trailer earlier than usual and went back to the bar in the hotel to enjoy last call and some interesting karaoke. Judd Hoos likes to jam after shows. But sometimes it is hard to find a place in the hotel where we aren’t disturbing other guests. I think we had gone to three different rooms and finally got the front desk knocking on our door. You are not a real rock band unless you get the management called on you every once in a while. In our last attempt to have a jam session and extend the party a little longer we went down to the lobby where we were turned around back to our rooms very quickly. Seemed like a good idea right?
Anyways, it was such a fun weekend. A great weekend to come back to after having some time off. The time off was much needed but I know personally I was in Judd Hoos withdrawal. We all crave performing and playing music together for the fans and for ourselves. I think we like spending time with each other too most of the time. haha! Judd Hoos will be going on the road down to cowboy-country-Laramie, WY this next weekend. In the words of Chancey Williams, “Somebody might die.” (In regards to playing two nights with his band during homecoming weekend at a crazy cowboy bar.) Should be fun! Thanks again to our friends in Lincoln, NE for coming out and supporting us. And a huge thanks again to Justin and Amanda. You guys rock. Until next time, stay tuned for more on the road with Judd Hoos!