It’s not difficult to see why buzz has been building for The HU these past couple years. Traditional Mongolian music lends itself to a heavier interpretation. Add in a pack of skilled musicians, and the mix of old world and contemporary gets even more appealing. Tuesday’s show at the Ogden Theatre in Denver was just the latest in a string of sold-out shows that proved why the band has been gaining popularity.
If anything defines The HU live, it’s a steady and driving beat. There’s a pulse that runs through the entire set – beginning with the crowd chanting “HU! HU! HU!…”, and building with the addition of multiple drummers, guttural vocals and the methodical strum of tribal instruments. The core group of four are backed by an additional set of musicians, adding even more punch to the waves of strings and percussion.
According to their web site, the band’s name is derived from “the Mongolian root word for human being.” And their style, dubbed “Hunnu Rock,” pulls it’s inspiration from the ancient empire that western culture knows at The Huns. Their lyrical themes run the gamut. Ranging from the legendary rule of Ghengis Khan to the love of a mother for her child. The band opened with the energetic “Shoog Shoog,” and then went on to treat the crowd to a variety of songs including “The Legend of Mother Swan,” “Shihi Hutu,” “Wolf Totem” and an encore cover of Metallica’s “Sad but True.”