Human Nature’s ‘Jukebox’ is a hit machine
Australian pop vocal group Human Nature may have started its Las Vegas run in 2009, but the harmonious foursome’s show has really become a finely tuned machine since landing at the Sands Showroom at The Venetian four years ago. Toby Allen, Phil Burton and brothers Andrew and Mike Tierney—who have been performing together as a group for 28 years since forming in high school—revamped their Vegas production into Jukebox earlier this year, allowing their rapid-fire musical delivery to incorporate even more pop gems from varying genres and eras.
The update has been so successful that the guys have put the show on wax, to use an appropriate metaphor. The Sands Showroom isn’t the only place you can absorb Human Nature’s unique talents on Jukebox—the group has just released Jukebox: The Ultimate Playlist, its 13th album, featuring favorites like “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “Stand By Me” and “Under The Boardwalk,” plus two original songs that also show off the quartet’s signature sound.
But that “ultimate playlist” is never truly finished. The singers continue to tweak Jukebox onstage by rotating different music in and out of the show and blending more modern hits (like Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me”) into the infinitely catchy mix. Most recently, the show added a whole new segment that brings the performers closer than ever to the audience and literally gets fans up and out of their seats. The “Juke Joint” portion in the second half of the show brings the sizzling seven-piece backing band to the forefront to play old-fashioned versions of their instruments (think upright bass and saloon piano) while the singers interact with their fans on upbeat favorites like the Isley Brothers’ “Shout” and Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers’ “Why Do Fools Fall in Love.” It adds warmth and spontaneity, takes some of the formality out of one of the Strip’s more traditional showroom productions and demonstrates these veteran performers’ vast range.
The smile-inducing boy band segment of Human Nature’s show remains a highlight, where the guys reflect on their youthful discretions as Australia’s version of NSYNC, humorously attempting to handle the same athletic choreography from those days. It’s one of many lighthearted moments, but also significant in that it showcases how long these four singers have been singing together without much interruption, nearly three decades worth of showbiz experience that translates into a truly tight group.
Though they capably cover everyone from Earth, Wind & Fire to Bruno Mars, Human Nature’s vocal talents still shine brightest on earlier classics like the Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody,” the Miracles’ “Ooo Baby Baby” and the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby.” And that’s kind of a great thing, because it’s nice to know an old-fashioned show can still thrive in today’s fast-paced Strip entertainment landscape.
The Venetian, 7 p.m. Tues.-Sat., starting at $49.95 plus tax and fee. 702.414.9000