It seems like every time we take a break from shows I come back in these blogs saying how much we all missed playing and how some of us may have even been in withdrawals. Well, because it is true. And this last weekend was more of a case than any! Judd Hoos had taken two weeks off! Granted we did spend one of them song writing, recording, rehearsing, and having a kick ass acoustic show. But we were technically “off.” So it was time for another weekend of rock. Spring had been skipped apparently and we all woke up on Friday morning to find summer at our front door step. Everyone met at the designated departing zone and we loaded up the ice man. I think some of the band members may have thought the Bills Brothers were dead. Devin and I had taken a few days to go down to Denver for our sisters high school graduation. Anyways, the Bills bros were alive and kicking and after we were all loaded up the band van was on the road again.
Judd Hoos was headed to a little town called Dunnel, MN. It was a long day in the van. But thankfully we all enjoy each others company and none of us smell too bad. There are no motels in the little town of Dunnel (population 167) so we were staying at the “hobbit hole” motel in Jackson. Andy dubbed it the hobbit hole considering the size and the roof was made of dirt and grass. With as much as Andy makes fun of some of us playing Clash of Clans I didn’t take him for a Lord of the Rings nerd. Judd Hoos went straight to the venue to finish set up and sound check. It definitely felt like summertime. This was going to be our first street dance. Even though it wasn’t a real one because we were set up in the back yard of a bar. But we had a big trailer stage and got set up real quick. Sound check went well. It felt good to all play some music together again. We ran through some new originals that we have been putting together. They sounded good and Bob wanted to put them in the sets for the weekend. After sound check we loaded back up in the ice man and went to the Earth Motel to rest up and get ready for the show.
It was finally time to play! The sun and the stage was set and the weather was perfect. The first set was great. The crowd had little kids and new Judd Hoos fans to good friends and die hard fans. Everyone was a little nervous to come up to the stage and dance. But as usual it only took half the set and some coaxing from Bob Z. Bob also took the opportunity on the mic to ask how to really pronounce the town name. We had all heard two different ways and were really confused. Later in the night Bob decided Dunnel was just going to be called Judd Hoos Town. The night went on great. After the second set I remember thinking how amazing the weather was for us for our first outside show of the year. I can get used to that. It was a great show and the crowd turned out to be pretty big and was getting really into it. Great to see familiar faces in the crowd.
We all got ready to start loading out after we hung out for a little bit. There was a tragedy in the making. Our beloved sound guy came down with some really bad food poisoning and had been sick the whole night while running sound and lights. We also are sad to say that our old light guy Zach is no longer with Judd Hoos. We wish him the best. So the problem was we were two crew guys short after our sound guy had to be taken to the hospital. It turned out to be a long load out. But everyone stepped up to the occasion. Chris Walker, one of our crew guys, really kicked ass with helping. So once the load out from hell was finished it was time to leave Dunnel and get some sleep.
Judd Hoos woke up Saturday morning to another bright summer day and we all eventually got outside and loaded up the van. We were not in a big hurry to our next destination because it was not that far of a drive. Our show that night was going to be in Norfolk, NE. We got on the road and made a stop in Sioux Falls at our favorite music store. While waiting Chris, Devin, Andy and I recorded a video of us playing your favorite new JH original House Party. It was funny because we were just in the middle of the acoustic guitars section and just busted out in a song. I think people enjoyed it. After the music store we went to our favorite food establishment, Qdoba. Do they sponsor bands? Judd Hoos can eat a lot of burritos! We rolled out of Qdoba and were on the road to Norfolk finally. It was an easy drive and we got into town at a decent enough time to check in to the hotel and try to get a little nap in. Headed to the bar to sound check. It was a pretty cool room. The stage was up high but it was a little tight. It was already super hot inside and I knew it was going to be a sauna on stage that night. After the crazy load out the night before we decided we needed some more help. We recruited an old Hoos crew guy, T-Bone. He did a great job and really helped out with his muscles. We ran through a couple songs and hurried back to the hotel to get ready. We were a little pressed for time at this point so we got ready quickly and got back in the van to go to the show.
Every pair of eyes in the bar was watching us as we started the first set. It felt comfortable to me to play inside again. Even though this was going to be one of the last indoor gigs. It ended up being one of the hottest shows of the year. I remember rocking out to a great crowd and then getting off the stage and outside on the breaks as fast as I could to cool down. The crowd grew in size and interest. They loved us! There were lots of girls dancing and really drunk guys either trying to dance or watching the girls dance and the Hoos rock out. We played some originals and got a great response. Chris Walker was running lights and put Bob Z in one of the best moods I have ever seen him at a show. Walker did a really great job. Big shout out to him kicking ass all weekend with the load out and the killer light show. It is going to be a great summer.
We ended the night strong with a brand new original called Weigh Me Down. Both Bob and I had people come up to us separately telling us how much they liked the song. That is the best thing you can hear in our line of work. So then it was time for load out. It ended up being a night for losing things for a couple of us. Bob couldn’t find his phone during load out. He did find it though. And I couldn’t find my wallet when we got back to the hotel. I looked everywhere and figured it was probably in the back of my amp buried in the trailer! Once again, Chris Walker to the rescue. He helped me monkey into the trailer and get into my amp. It was right there thankfully and no where else. I am never doing that again. I heard nightmare tales of Chris Hornick leaving the keys to the van in his amp and it getting buried in the trailer. I told myself I would never do that and now I am just as guilty. We ended the night with some beers and sitting around a hotel room. Bob had joined us and we talked about how great of a summer we are going to have.
It was another bad ass Hoos weekend. And a start to a huge long run of shows for almost the rest of the year. We do not have a weekend off until October or something crazy like that. Summer is here and it is officially street dance season! Make sure to check our schedule and see when we are coming to a town near you. Our new originals are something you really need to come hear. Judd Hoos is writing some hits. We will be in West Fargo, ND on Friday and Fairmont, MN on Saturday next weekend. Come be a part of the Judd Hoos nation! Thank you to all of you who came out this last weekend and made it memorable for all of us. Stay tuned for more on the road with Judd Hoos blogs.
Highlights of the Weekend:
Chris Walker’s Light Show
The Hobbit Hole
no bed bugs
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