Review: Mongolian Metal Band The Hu Brought the Language of Hard Rock to the Mercury Ballroom


Mongolian rockers The Hu packed Mercury Ballroom last night. Like really packed. OK, it was wall to wall people, and if you’re a person with COVID anxiety, then you probably were a bit freaked out…but the show. The show was great from the first notes of “Shihi Hutu” until the final notes of “Sad but True” that ended the performance. 

The band looked amazing with all members wearing a mix of rocker badassery with heavy nods to their heritage. It made me miss bands like Judas Priest and others who really put on a show with their clothing and their music. It adds something to the ambiance. Of course, looks don’t count if the music isn’t there, and this isn’t the case with the much-praised band. Their music is the true superstar. 

It goes without saying that music is a powerful language that needs no translation. The lyrics of The Hu songs are mostly in Mongolian and that didn’t faze the crowd one bit and from the time the band hit the stage until the last note, the crowd shouted “Hu, Hu, Hu,” like perfect heavy metal owls and stomped feet with the heavy bass of the songs. 

So many of The Hu’s songs seemed to be crowd favorites but for sure, “The Great Chinggis Khaan,Yuve Yuve Yu,” “Wolf Totem,” and the cover of Metallica’s “Sad but True” resonated well with the audience, and the band certainly seemed to feel the appreciation of the crowd. 

We missed the opening act, The Haunt, but the crowd seemed pleased, and that certainly has merit. 

No complaints here about any parts of the show other than the brief run-ins with those who noticed us like a rock in a bag of rice. 

Take this as a cautionary tale. When you are a person of Caucasian persuasian at a concert where the band members are people of color, and you see BlPoC people in the crowd, resist the urge to make patronizing remarks like, “Do you like this band,” or “Are you having a good time.”  Certainly, those comments seem innocuous enough, but when you’ve been Black at rock concerts for many years, it is the hallmark of someone feeling that you are out of place or “other” in the situation. It’s 2022, let’s just assume folks that attend the show like the band and are having a fine time. Stay in your lane and mind your own enjoyment’s business.

On the flip side of that, it is always nice when the folks who look like us, see us and we acknowledge each other. That’s something else. Something quite beautiful. We see you, “Jordan Peele.”

Thank you to The Hu for a great night. It felt good to be at a hard rock show again. 

| Photos by Erica Rucker