The HU hits San Diego’s Humphrey’s By The Bay

The HU came to San Diego’s Humprey’s By The Bay during their Black Thunder Tour, supported by The Haunt! Having just played Coachella the day before, I would say this was the first ‘real’ stop on their headlining tour.

The Haunt is a band from South Florida and consists of siblings, Anastasia Grace Haunt (lead vocals) and Maxamillion Haunt (vocals, guitar), alongside Nat Smallish (bass) and Nick Lewert (drums). Anastasia started playing in local venues when she was only nine years old and began writing music with her brother by the time she was 12. In 2017, The Haunt was created and their style is an infusion of indie, alternative, rock and hip hop. They bring a lot of energy to the stage, which makes them entertaining to watch.

After The Haunt closed out their set, the crowd began chanting “HU! HU! HU! HU!”

If you’ve ever been to a HU concert, you know that famous chant. The HU is like something I’ve never seen or witnessed before; I was completely mesmerized by them when they came out onstage! Here’s a little bit of history on them (because I think they are just one of the most interesting bands): the band is made up of eight guys that combine rock music with traditional Mongolian instrumentation, like the Morin Khuur (horsehead fiddle), Tovshuur (Mongolian guitar), Tumur Khuur (jaw harp) and Mongolian throat singing (“khoomei”). Their music sounds so ancient and that’s because they’ve been building their style on a sound that’s been around for thousands of years. The name, The HU, is the Mongolian root word for human beings and they call their style “Hunnu Rock”, inspired by the Hunnu, an ancient Mongolian empire, known as The Huns in western culture. Some of the band’s lyrics include old Mongolian war cries and poetry. I seriously love this blend of metal and tradition!

I’ve never been to a concert where there was hardly anybody singing. I think everybody was just soaking it in and enjoying the moment. Their set is so mesmerizing — it’s so easy to get lost in their music and feel it inside you. Almost all of their songs had six to seven-part harmonies, which was so beautiful! The deep throat singing mixed with whistles was absolutely amazing and something you can only really appreciate when you hear it live. To add to the ‘magical’ vibe of the night, it started raining! There was no rain in the forecast whatsoever. It started raining as they were playing “The Legend of Mother Swan”, a very soft song that tells “the tale of the power of a mother’s love for their offspring.” It was definitely one of those moments that I will never forget!

They closed out their set with their cover of “Sad but True” by Metallica. The cover was part of Metallica’s Blacklist, which was an album composed of 53 various artists paying tribute to the 30th Anniversary of the Black Album. The way they took this legendary song and put their own style into it is absolutely amazing to me! Singing the song in Mongolian and playing their traditional instruments really brings a whole new vibe to the song. Definitely go give their version of the song a listen, because it’s so powerful! If you’re up for something different and a totally unique experience, be sure to catch The HU on their headlining tour or catch them later this year on tour with Megadeth and Five Finger Death Punch.

Photography by Heather Vandemark; Recap by Kaiya Vandemark

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