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The Psycho Thunder Tour Featuring Asking Alexandria, The Hu and Zero 9:36 Took on Harrisburg, PA

The Psycho Thunder Tour rolled into the Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center on September 15, 2023. This tour features a coheadline, with heavy hitters Asking Alexandria and the Mongolian phenomenon known as The HU. Support was provided by Zero 9:36 who has been getting a ton of airplay on Sirius XM's Octane channel. The venue has a super cool vibe and was a great setting for this concert. As the start time to the show approached I noticed less and less free space in the venue, as I came out of the pit from photographing Zero 9:36 I quickly realized that the show was at capacity and everyone was shoulder to shoulder in the venue. As I walked towards the back even the merch area was filled with fans trying to get a view of the stage.

Zero 9:36 had a quick 30 minutes to pack a punch. He performed 8 songs in furious fashion. During the set he zoomed back and forth across the stage making sure to engage with the entire audience. Obviously the two biggest highlights of the night were Zero's current hits Stuck in My Ways and Adrenaline. Adrenaline was towards the end of his set, the audience sang along with their fists in the air, as they swayed to the mellow beat. Since Zero is a local PA artist, he did have a bunch of diehards in the audience which had to feel good. His set was solid and I see big things coming from him in the future. He set the tone of the night which led into the smashing performance by The HU.

The HU are where traditional Mongolian music and hard rock and metal collide. Their shows are an experience that are hard to describe. You have this incredible group playing traditional Mongolian instruments along with everyday guitars and drums. Blended with native throat singing, you get this heart stopping, chest pounding version of rock and roll. Even though most have no idea what they are saying they, form some kind of electric bond with the audience members. They have produced several songs that have been remade to feature other artists singing English lyrics such as Wolf Totem with Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach and This is Mongul (Warrior Souls) with William DuVall of Alice In Chains. But during their live performances they stick to the original tracks.

The HU performed 13 anthems over a 75 minute set. I'd say the audience on this particular night leaned a little more heavy in favor of The HU. From the moment they hit the stage the fans chanted and danced along as they immersed themselves in an alternate cultural experience. Music hits different when you don't have to pay attention to the lyrics, your soul becomes one with the beat and you can just let go. They saved most of their more well know songs for the latter part of their set. Building the audience on some of their lesser known songs to close out with an absolute bang. Once they broke out Yuve Yuve, the audience lost it. At one point the floor was bouncing up and down with them. This was only slightly concerning in an ancient building on the second floor but we all made it. They closed out their set with This is Mongol, continuing the fan frenzy.

To me The HU is a super heavy band that will be capable of selling out arenas. In an age of stale rock and roll and the over use of tracks during live performances, The HU is bucking all of the trends which I think is helping lend a hand to their popularity.

With an extreme high running through the building Asking Alexandria kept the energy and the flow going. They are out supporting there brand spanking new album, "Where Do We Go from Here?" The album continues to build on their heavier sound while keeping in tune with the melodic rock that they are known for. They opened their set with two seasoned songs, The Violence, which got the crowd throwing down with the heavy chorus and Alone Again which is a much more melodic song. The first new song they brought out was Bad Blood, which is the albums opening track. This performance featured singer Danny Worsnop's gritty melodic vocals blended with drummer, James Cassells' vicious drumming. This was the start of some audience participation by the way of a circle pit in the back of the venue.

A few songs later they got into their second new track, Dark Void. The pit grew and you could see a little girl up on someones shoulders looking at the festivities below. This is what rock and roll is all about, generations all being part of the same experience. I am sure she will never forget this night and it will set her up for a lifetime of appreciation for live music. They closed out the night with Alone in a Room. I had some sort of unhealthy obsession with this song for about 6 months after it came out. The opening riff of the song is haunting and it just goes into this ripping hard rock progression. The lyrics just totally hit home and this performance was the most amazing way to end such a killer night of music.

Asking Alexandria has been producing amazing music for many years and they just keep getting better. I saw them on Shiprocked in 2020 just before the world shut down. This show was a reminder that time stood still for so long but we are all now back to our purpose. I'm happy that I got to be a part of this night with great artists and amazing fans. This show was one of the most fun ones I've attended this year. This tour has a few more weeks left so if it's in your neighborhood get out and support live music, you won't be disappointed with this one.


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