Different Roads: Human Nature Compares US vs Australia Tour Experiences
Posted by Andrew C on Wednesday, August 6th, 2014
On August 6th, Human Nature’s mini summer tour of the U.S. Eastern seaboard kicked off with a set at the Palace Theatre in Waterbury, Connecticut. By the time the tour concludes on August 17 in Boston, the boys will have played nine shows in five cities. It certainly won’t surpass the most miles they’ve ever racked up on the road, but it does represent one of the group’s first extended opportunities to tour the States in a more traditional sense. And Phil Burton hopes it’s just the beginning.
“Yeah, we still haven’t done what you’d consider a full ‘tour’ in the US,” he says. “We have hit the road a couple of times before this, but never for a long period of time. I can’t wait to do it, though! Just the idea of getting down and dirty, sleeping in a bus and seeing a whole bunch of different places in the US would be kind of ‘living the dream’ for any performer. It’s something you don’t get to do in Australia, as everything is so spread out. You need to fly everywhere. Also because Australia has such a small and concentrated population, you can tour almost the whole country in a matter of a few weeks.”
To date, Human Nature has played well over 1,000 shows on American soil, but about 99% of those have come in their adopted home of Las Vegas, leaving much of the country still shrouded in mystery and excitement for the four lads from Sydney. Back home, the crowds might be larger and better versed in the band’s back catalog—but there’s clearly a special appeal for Human Nature in playing the same American cities and stages where many of their musical heroes once reigned: Detroit, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Chicago, Memphis, you name it. Every city has its special folklore. And special brand of folks, as well.
“It is such a different beast touring the US compared to touring Australia,” Toby Allen concurs. “Back home we skirt the coast of Australia because that’s where the people live. But America has such diversity throughout its entirety, so it is always interesting to discover new areas and meet the amazing range of people that make up the USA.”
Of course, it should never be construed that Human Nature takes its original Australian fans for granted. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even as they gradually wind their way through the States and expand their American fanbase, the guys remain fully cognizant of the truly unique dynamic that comes with performing in front of your native countrymen—the fans that first put you on the map.
“It’s definitely quite different,” Allen says. “At the Vegas show, there are certainly some fans that we see all the time– there’s one girl that’s seen our show at least 40 times, I think. But back in Australia, you know, we’ve had such a long career there and our fans have been really loyal and have stuck with us—it’s just awesome. And so, the energy from the very start of the show is often different down there. Here in Vegas, we start off and there will be a lot of people in the crowd who’ve never heard of us or seen us perform. By the end of the show they’re enjoying it and singing along, but there’s often that element of introducing yourself. In Australia, you’ll get more of that energy right from the beginning of the show. It’s really exciting. We usually only get to go back once or twice a year, but that’s perfect in a way. As Phil said, Australia is not a huge country population wise. So being able to go back and do a tour like the one we did last December is the perfect way to go back. You get to see people you missed, do these exciting shows, and share some of the newer material we’ve been performing. It’s hard to beat.”
So which experience takes the proverbial cake—playing to a packed house of devotees Down Under or exploring the legendary rock n’ roll landmarks of the USA?
“You know, we always look forward to going back to Australia and seeing our fans back there and our families,” says Michael Tierney. “Even though we’re living in Vegas now, it always feels like coming home when we’re back in Australia. …That being said, we also couldn’t be more excited about getting to play some more shows in different places around America, as well—touring more cities we haven’t had the chance to play yet. It’s something we’re all looking forward to.”
That might sound like an overly diplomatic answer, but the fact is, Human Nature loves to sing for any audience that’s willing to listen. And whether it’s the surreal experience of playing New York’s Apollo Theater or the joy of reconnecting with lifelong fans at the State Theatre in Sydney, every chance to travel the world and share their music is a welcome one. Besides, not everything about the USA vs Australia experience is apples and oranges.
“The venues are one thing that have often been surprisingly similar to some we’ve played back home,” Allen says. “Particularly the theatres– both countries have beautiful gothic and deco theatres.”
See, it’s always better to focus on the things we have in common.