“F*ck, yeah,” Jaya, jaw harp, tsuur, flute, and throat singer, excitedly shouted with a fist pump halfway through The Hu’s packed concert in St. Louis on October 30. And f*ck, yeah is the only correct response to this night of incredible, mesmerizing music and energy.
On an extensive tour to support their first album, The Gereg, released September 13, The Hu has rapidly become ambassadors of Mongolia to the world with their music. So it’s fitting that their album’s name is the word that means the diplomatic passport that was carried by Mongolian nobles and officials during the 13th century.
If you haven’t heard of The Hu yet, get on the bandwagon now (this Louder article is a great introduction). Promoted as hard rock, heavy metal, and sometimes folk-rock, these classically trained musicians and throat singers’ fame have steadily been increasing since they formed in 2016; skyrocketing in the US since the beginning of 2019.
Originally set to perform at the currently closed Firebird, the show was moved to the larger The Ready Room which, by night’s end was bursting at the seams.
Shouts of “Hu, Hu, Hu” from the rapt crowd began when the band came onstage just before 9 p.m. and barely subsided throughout the next 80 minutes. The hypnotics of hard-hitting chanting mixed with the tones of traditional Mongolian instruments that include the tovshuur and morin khuur, the steady drums and the guttural throat singing are just some of the reasons The Hu has become practically an overnight sensation (the band’s inaugural performance was in June 2019 in their hometown of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia followed by their first sold-out headlining European and UK tour in June and July 2019). In fact, the band has vaulted into the top ten of four charts in the U.S.
- #1 Top New Artists
- #2 Independent Label Artist
- #4 Hard Music
- #9 Top Current
Songs such as “Uchirtal Gurav” brought the house down with the entire crowd clapping along and erupting into decibel-crushing cheers during the featured throat singing parts.
After the high energy, increasingly fast-paced “Bii Biyley” the band jammed as the crowd went wild continuing with chants of “Hu, Hu, HU, HU, HU,” that grew louder and louder. The adrenaline level surpassed 100 with everyone headbanging as The Hu took it even higher with “Yuve Yuve Yu.”
Shouts of “we love you,” from the crowd and fist pumps kept the momentum going before the band swung into “Wolf Team.”
The energy in the room continued to build leading up to a frenzied crescendo of strobe lights, more chants of “Hu Hu Hu” that kept beat with the drums as the band rocked with “The Great Chinggis Khaan,” “Black Thunder,” and “This is the Mongol.”
Improvising, the band came back on stage for an encore performance of “Yuve Yuve Yu.”
Crown Lands opened to an already packed room at 8 p.m. and for the next half-hour the duo from Oshawa, Ontario, brought their own psych/classic/prog rock to the now-new fans gathered for The Hu. Don’t let the beautiful hair tosses from Kevin Comeau distract you as he can rock the guitar and bass (including a double-necked bass) while behind Cody Bowles’ sweet smile is his 70s-inspired, booming vocals. Bowles’ also wowed the crowd with his powerful drumming. Dressed in a silver lamé one-piece Bowles later shared with Arch City Media it was his Halloween costume tribute to 70s glam Freddy (Mercury).
Hits such as “Mountain,” which they performed, has lyrics that hold deep meaning. When you dig, you find that they highlight “the horrors of colonization and the implementation of residential schools … surrounding the mistreatment of our Indigenous Peoples” as they told Everything is Noise.
Find all photos from the night here: http://bit.ly/TheHu19cz