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Human Nature prepares for return to South Point

Updated August 24, 2022 - 7:10 pm

Kats! Bureau at this writing is South Point Showroom. It’s a fly-on-the wall afternoon at Human Nature’s final rehearsal before opening an extended engagement Thursday night. The series runs through Sunday.

HN is a pop trio these days, starring brothers Andrew and Mike Tierney, along with Toby Allen. Co-founder Phil Burton moved back to the band’s native Australia, where he still tours with his three mates.

The Vegas show will miss Burton, and so will fans. They should. Burton brought so much to the act, vocally, musically and through his showmanship. But the enduring triumvirate should bring a bouncy experience to its new venue.

You almost can’t help but smile as the guys spin through “Baby I Need Your Loving,” “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me),” “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” Backed by a three-piece band, Human Nature is returning to a more Motown-generated act going with what is familiar for the South Point crowd.

“It feels like this will be a great reintroduction for us to Vegas, and we’ll go from here,” Andrew Tierney says.

I ran into hotel entertainment director Michael Libonati at the entrance, who is effectively delivering owner Michael Gaughan’s vision for top live entertainment in this venue. The Righteous Brothers, Tony Orlando, Crystal Gayle, Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone, popular Vegas showman Frankie Scinta and ace Elvis tribute artist Donny Edwards are in rotation in the room. Venerable crooner Dennis Bono hosts his no-cover radio show every Thursday afternoon. South Point knows its clientele, no question.

We expect sellouts throughout the weekend. Human Nature has long proven its value elsewhere. The guys headlined on the Strip since opening at Imperial Palace (today’s Linq Hotel) in May 2009, continuing through March 2020 at then-Sands Showroom (today’s Summit Showroom) at The Venetian. Only COVID-19 halted the run.

The band’s Motown formula, the synchronized vocals and grooving, and zeal to please have not ebbed. This is a middle-age group that has been together since they were schoolkids, and still acts like teenagers.

In an early break between songs, Andrew Tierney suggests, “Let’s address the elephant in the room.” A reference to Burton’s absence? Nope. It’s the venerable joke about being four (well, three now) white Aussies singing Motown hits.

That shtick has been in the show since the Imperial Palace days. Somehow, like the classics on the set list, it still works.

Tuning up

Aerosmith is reportedly tearing it up in rehearsals in Boston, in the run-up to the return of “Deuces Are Wild” (when) at Dolby Live. The reporting of this is inside the band’s camp. We asked Steven Tyler’s manager Larry Rudolph, simply, “How are rehearsals?”

He imparted the following.

“Aerosmith band started rehearsals Monday after a very long Covid hiatus. They came back with a vengeance and fury expected from the baddest, meanest rock group there ever was … Or ever will be. Park MGM better reinforce the roof at the Dolby theater. Because the boys from Boston are headed there soon to blow it off!”

So, its hardhats-optional at Dolby Live.

We’re eager to see the changes in the “Deuces” show. There will be several. Aerosmith is digging for gems over its 50-year career, that they’ve not played in Vegas. The band is gong to debut “a couple of monster classics,” Rudolph says. “There are a LOT of them.”

We hope they keep the stage set unchanged, with its two functional bars flanking the band, VIP platforms on either side of the stage, and even a few operating pinball machines. And bring back the Vegas violinists, too. Class up the place a little.

She fancy

Multiple reports from U.K. tabloids indicate Caesars Entertainment is turning over its $35,500-per-night Nobu Villa for Adele in her “Weekends With Adele” residency. That works out to about a $3.2 million if that suite were booked every night. It wouldn’t be, but it’s still a swanky perk.

The 10,300-square-foot suite has three bedrooms, a Zen garden with a whirlpool and a barbecue pit. She can order in from any of the hotel’s restaurants and a fully stacked bar. Also, unlimited cable TV. It’s great. The show premieres Nov. 18.

What I’m not seeing …

Is Celine Dion’s return to the stage before November. Just reading the tea leaves here.

MD Palooza

The 9th anniversary of Monday’s Dark has found a new home, Pearl Concert Theater at the Palms. The show is 8 p.m. Dec. 12. Many Vegas entertainers will drop in (last year, Shania Twain sashayed to the stage at the Theater at Virgin Hotel). As always, event founder Mark Shunock hosts.

Hypno vision

Don Barnhart is headlining in his “Hypnomania” at 8 p.m. at his Jokesters Comedy Club at Alexis Park. He also producer of House of Magic at 6 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays, and the Delirious Comedy Club at Downtown Grand at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays.

In these smaller shows, Barnhart sees ticket-buying trends from, shall we say, the organic level.

“You know, this is a crazy town right now. I noticed a lot of shows are having some trouble just because everybody flooded the market when the city reopened,” Barnhart says. “Then the economy took a dump, so we noticed, drop-offs. People weren’t driving up here like they used to. But last week, our numbers were popping again. We had the biggest week ever for ‘Delirious.’ With the the little drop in gas prices, and the economy leveling off, we really see a difference.”

Cool Hang Alert

A quick CHA story: The night I met Lady Gaga near the bar at NoMad Library, the great keyboardist and conductor Michael Bearden actually brought her over to meet the person next to me. He was, and is, Joey Melotti. “L.G., you HAVE to meet this guy,” Bearden said to Gaga at that meeting. Melotti is himself a wonderful musician, music director and arranger. Barry Manilow, among others, will tell you the same.

Thus, we shine a light on the Joey Melotti Quartet, playing 8 p.m. (doors at 6 p.m.) Wednesday at Gatsby’s Supper Club at the Gambit Henderson. Jake Langley is on guitar, Y.L. Douglas on drums, John Belzaguy on bass. The show runs until 10 p.m. This is a night out kids, $30 F&B minimum and a $10 cover. Cocktail dress code “enforced,” so clean up, get there and thank me later.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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