It was quite an eventful weekend considering we were so close to home. It even kind of started a day early. All of us except Bob got together on Thursdaymorning to our secret practice space next to the Loud American in Sturgis to rehearse new tunes. Both covers and originals. It was very productive and we got a lot done. Then on Thursday afternoon, Devin, Andy, Shane and I went over to a radio station in Spearfish and did a little interview and played Counting Stars. We were promoting our Loud American show on Saturday. It was so fun being in the studio at a radio station again. Devin and I ended our productive Thursdayplaying a little acoustic set at a friends birthday party. I felt like I had literally been singing all day!
Friday morning came and we were all going to meet in Rapid City at another radio station to do the same thing. This time Chris got to join us and we felt 90% complete. The radio interview went great and we told everyone about the show on Saturday and played a new cover called Love Don’t Die by The Fray. After being in the studio again it was time to get on the road and get to our gig in Pierre SD. We met at the Hornick mansion to park our cars and load up in the Ice Man.
The drive to Pierre went really quick compared to our usual 5 or 6 hour drives across the state. We got to town pretty early in the afternoon and got to relax at the hotel for a while before running over the to club to finish setting up and sound check. Most of us were a little worried about how we were going to fit up on this stage. It was going to be one of the smallest stages we were playing on, and we are a six piece band! But props to the crew for making it look good and helping us cram up there. Sound check went quicker than we would have liked considering some of the older patrons were a little more than upset we were making so much “noise.” That was ok though. We went back to the hotel and practiced some of the new songs with Bob. The originals were sounding great and our new cover of a Shinedown tune is killer. We rehearsed until it was time to get ready to get spiffed up and head over to the bar for show time.
You would have thought people were afraid of what was going to come out of the stage by how far away everyone was from us when we started. But as usual it only took a couple of songs before everyone couldn’t help themselves and get to dancing. The fans in Pierre were really digging us and I got so many compliments on the new sound and line up. We rocked out hard on this tiny stage and had a good time. The show was smooth. Except for a few problems with my guitar. There is nothing more frustrating to a musician than having problems with your gear during a live performance! Load out was not bad at all and the hotel was just down the street. So before we knew the show was over we were all in a hotel room winding down and talking about what ever we talk about at four in the morning.
It was finally Saturday. Everyone was looking forward to this day for a while. We were going to Sturgis to play at the Loud American. Basically Judd Hoos’ home town. We got some much needed coffee on the way out of town and got on the road. We brainstormed some ideas for the set list together on the way to Rapid City. We wanted to wow the fans who have seen us so much at the Loud. It was weird coming home on a Saturday to play another show. We picked up some of our cars at the Hornick mansion and headed straight to Sturgis for sound check. We ran through the new songs again to get them tight and finished writing a kick ass set list. We were going to be playing an almost two hour set with an encore. No breaks. So we wanted the energy to keep going through the whole show.
After sound check we all went our separate ways to get ready for the gig. Like I said it was really weird coming home before a gig. Mine and Devin’s parents were coming up for the show and we met them for dinner. Andy had a lot of family coming to the show too and Chris’s better half was celebrating her birthday with a bunch of good friends. There were going to be a lot of special people coming out. We all got there at different times. A really good local band, Demand Theory, opened for us. They did a great job. It was time to rock n roll. It is always nice to have a green room to all get ready in before taking the stage. I think a few of us were a little nervous.
We attacked the stage with tons of energy and from the first note we had people packed up next to the stage. It was fun for all of us to see so many loved ones and relatives in the crowd. Not to mention all the amazing Judd Hoos fans. The bar and the dance floor was packed all night. We literally kept people dancing and in front of us for two hours straight. It was amazing. It was also the hottest show I have ever played inside. After the first song I was already dripping with sweat. So between the heat and no breaks you could tell we were getting tired towards the end of the show. But it didn’t stop us from coming out for an encore thanking all of our fans for coming out. It was such a good show. It took everyone a while to catch their breath after and say goodbye to friends and family. I don’t think anybody wanted to tear down and load. Luckily the crew saved us and got a lot done for us. It had started to snow during load out, which made the ramp a little slick, but we got everything in and almost all of us were headed home to our own beds after a kick ass show.
The whole weekend was worthy to be put in the books as one of the best so far for Judd Hoos. We were on the radio twice, which was so cool. And impressed so many people with the new sound. We played our new original, House Party, both nights and both times we had people dancing and clapping. Chis said it really well, that it feels so good to see people enjoying your music and they don’t even know it’s yours yet. We really rocked it. Thank you to everyone in Pierre and Sturgis who came out to support and have a good time with us. It was a great weekend in South Dakota. Sad to say we have the next weekend off. Even rockstars need a little time off, but we will be heading to Lincoln, NE to rock Cappy’s on April 25th! Stay tuned for more on the road with Judd Hoos!
Highlights of the Weekend: