Human Nature builds rock-solid show
It should come as no surprise to anyone that Human Nature, the Australian quartet of Andrew Tierney, Mike Tierney, Phil Burton and Toby Allen, has extended its residency at The Venetian into 2022. The group’s current Jukebox production is one of the sharpest shows on the Strip, and the only regularly running show at The Venetian and Palazzo.
“We feel lucky that we’re still here, for one, still able to keep doing a show (when) things have come and gone,” says Mike Tierney. “It’s awesome for us to be the only show on the property and we’re in a room that’s a great size for us... one that we feel comfortable in.”
The extension is just one of several significant Human Nature happenings in 2019. May will mark 10 years in Vegas for them and six years at The Venetian, and spring also brings the Little More Love Tour of their distant homeland, a celebration of 30 years together. The guys were also recently honored with the Medal of the Order of Australia, a rare honor recognizing artistic achievement and service.
I sat down with all four singers backstage at the Sands Showroom, where they perform Tuesday-Saturday at 7 p.m., to talk about how far they’ve come and their impact on Vegas.
Mike Tierney on living in Las Vegas: “We’re here between 35 and 40 weeks a year. We try to get back to Australia once or twice a year but we have to base our lives here with that schedule. We’ve really been Las Vegans for the past 10 years, become residents of the town, we know it well and it feels like home. We’ve seen a lot of things change over that time, particularly on the Strip, and it’s been interesting to see the changes in the entertainment culture.”
Phil Burton on longevity: “When we started in Las Vegas, we were under no misconceptions about what it would be like. We were told the first few months were going to be hard, you’re not going to have big crowds, but we built it up slowly. We know it’s a bit of a cycle here in town so we feel quite comfortable. Stable is a good way to describe it.”
Toby Allen on building a following: “We’re always driven to give our best.... We learned early on that word of mouth, particularly with our show, is crucial. So many people come and say, ‘My friends told me about the show,’ and they might be locals who, whenever someone comes to town, bring their guests to see your show.”
Andrew Tierney on the Sands Showroom: “Before we were here, there was Wayne Brady, and Gordie Brown was here before that, but I don’t think anyone kind of put their stamp on this room. At 750 (seats), you can fill the place or if you have a night that’s a little slower, it doesn’t feel empty, where if you’re in a 2,000-seat venue and have an off night, it can feel like a soundcheck. There’s intimacy in this room as well and everyone feels pretty close to the action when we want to rock the house.”
Mike Tierney on choosing songs for Jukebox: “We had been doing our Motown show for about six years and thought it was just time to change it up. We made this record that was branching out into music from that era, the ’50s and ’60s, and the tour for that record was great. So we took elements from that tour to make the Jukebox show here and blended more of that sound, great pop songs in that time that are still relevant today.”
The Venetian, 7 p.m. Tues.-Sat., starting at $54.95 plus tax and fee. 702.414.9000