Seminal ’90s boy band Human Nature have had a pretty interesting career arc after their 1996 debut album Telling Everybody. Since then, they’ve charted 17 hits in Australia’s Top 40, and five hits in the Top 10. Three of their albums have reached multi-platinum certification in Australia, and four have reached platinum, with sales of more than 1.6 million records in Australia alone. Nowadays the guys have a residency at The Venetian on the Las Vegas strip performing Human Nature: The Motown Show, a gig they’ve held for six years strong now. Seeing as they now consider Nevada their adopted home state, we asked all four members – Toby Allen, Andrew and Michael Tierney and Phil Burton – to give us their insider knowledge of the Strip and beyond.
TOBY: I live Downtown, close to Fremont Street and it’s the original retro Vegas. Before the Strip – this was where all the action was. I love it here.
There are some great little restaurants down the end of Fremont, away from all the neons and casinos, and if you like retro toys like’ 80s Transformers and Hot Wheels then you’ve got to visit the Toy Shack. It’s open late seven days a week and even has a real radioactive atomic test kit from the ’50s. It’s $10,000 and definitely not safe for kids!
Also the First Friday markets are a must if you are in Vegas on the first Friday of the Month – there’s lots of amazing artwork and food and it’s just wonderful to wander around in the late afternoon checking out all of the interesting things.
If you love retro, Downtown has heaps of wonderful vintage shops crammed with original furniture from the ’50s and ’60s and ’70s. If a chair is too big to take home, there are cool plastic pink flamingos for your lawn for around $20.
MIKE: If we have a few days off I love to head to Lake Mead and hire a houseboat for a few days. Aussie visitors don’t believe it when I tell them there’s water skiing, swimming and fishing just an hour out of Vegas.
Lake Mead is man-made, formed when the Hoover Dam was built in the ’30s. Just BYO food and drinks – there are BBQs onboard all the houseboats – and settle back for an incredible time. The more friends you bring, the cheaper it is to hire. And you’ve got to see Hoover Dam just close by Lake Mead, it’s a monument to incredible engineering and Art Deco style. Don’t forget to rub the toes of the giant Winged Sculpture on your way out – it’s said to bring good luck.
ANDREW: After our Motown Show we are still so revved up from performing that we often settle back for a few relaxing drinks in one of the amazing nightclubs in Vegas. At the Venetian Resort we have TAO, where you might spot Kim Kardashian or Snoop Dogg. In Summer the amazing outdoor Beach Club at Encore is really amazing to see. It’s party central during the warmer months.
Out of town, I take friends from Australia to experience zip-lining at Boulder City. It really is the ultimate adrenalin rush, flying through the air at 100 kilometres an hour. It’s completely safe – a 92-year-old guy has done it and is coming back to celebrate his 93rd birthday.
PHIL: I’m a bit of an outdoors guy, and I’ve just tried rappelling ( it’s American for abseiling) for our Getaway shoot in the Valley of Fire.
I actually haven’t ever been as scared as I was when I first looked down – more than 50 metres of sheer cliff face between me and the ground. But once I got going everything was great and the views are incredible. The feeling when you touch the ground is fantastic and The Valley of Fire is a must-see for everyone. The scenery is just out of this world. In fact it was used as a location for the red planet Mars in the movie Total Recall. It’s also become a popular spot to get married – drive though here on most days and you’re certain to see a wedding in progress. And the best thing is it’s all only about an hour from Vegas. While you’ll love Vegas, my advice is to get our of town as well for some amazing adventures. You’ll never forget this place.
Human Nature are presenting a special Getaway episode exploring Southern Nevada on Channel Nine at 5:30pm this Saturday April 18. Human Nature are returning to Australia for their for their national JUKEBOX Tour: A 25 Year Anniversary Celebration.