Crash Test Dummies Return With Dynamic Reunion to Celebrate God Shuffled His Feet

Crash Test Dummies at the Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac, MI on Nov. 25, 2018. (Photos by Kirk Harris, K&M Photography)
Crash Test Dummies at the Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac, MI on Nov. 25, 2018. (Photos by Kirk Harris, K&M Photography)
Crash Test Dummies at the Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac, MI on Nov. 25, 2018. (Photos by Kirk Harris, K&M Photography)
Crash Test Dummies at the Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac, MI on Nov. 25, 2018. (Photos by Kirk Harris, K&M Photography)
Crash Test Dummies at the Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac, MI on Nov. 25, 2018. (Photos by Kirk Harris, K&M Photography)
Crash Test Dummies at the Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac, MI on Nov. 25, 2018. (Photos by Kirk Harris, K&M Photography)
Crash Test Dummies at the Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac, MI on Nov. 25, 2018. (Photos by Kirk Harris, K&M Photography)
Crash Test Dummies at the Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac, MI on Nov. 25, 2018. (Photos by Kirk Harris, K&M Photography)

Crash Test Dummies just kicked off an Anniversary tour to celebrate the release of the popular album God Shuffled His Feet last Friday (Nov. 23) in St. Paul, Minnesota, with a local gig at the Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac, MI on Sunday. The original band has been almost completely inactive since 2001, but they are reunited to honour the 25th anniversary of that breakthrough album. The tour runs until December 8, with a show at The Concert Hall in New York City.

The band played every song off the God Shuffled His Feet album at the Pontiac show, although not in the original order, and there were two hits thrown in between –The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead from the Jim Carey movie Dumb and Dumber tossed in the middle and their debut hit Superman’s Song from 1991’s The Ghosts That Haunt Me at the end of the set.

It felt much like it did in the 90s when I first heard those songs on the radio across both Canadian and American airwaves. The band hasn’t missed a beat and lead vocalist Brad Roberts still has that deep bass voice that makes those songs so moody and substantial. It really did feel like the old days, as Brad mentioned

“It’s kinda like the old days,” Brad announced to the crowd just before diving into the deep album track When I Go Out With Artists. “You guys are all standing up, partying and dancing for us. It’s really nice treat.”

And the crowd really was a big factor here. There hasn’t been a good opportunity for a congregation of Crash Test Dummy-heads quite like this in years. The energy was electric and grew more so during the encores, which featured some non-God Shuffled His Feet tracks and finally closing with the band’s addictive, highest charting hit, Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm.

Overall, it was a very dynamic and reminiscent performance that brought back memories of great tunes and even better days when we just sat around and listened to a radio.

It’s good to have the band members back together after all this time and they still looked like the rockstars we saw in the music videos back in the 90s. Minus Brad’s long hair, which is now replaced with a bit of a bowl-cut style. Co-vocalist Ellen Reid had a few moments to shine. I’ve always been partial to The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead which really give the band their chance to rock out, but it was great to hear her solo track Make You Mine, which was tossed in with the encores. Bassist Dan Roberts and drummer Michel Dorge kept a solid backbone throughout. Sadly, missing from the picture was harmonica player Benjamin Darvill who hasn’t performed with the band since 2000.

Make no bones about it, these guys might like to crash and shake around with catchy hooks and memorable and meaningful lyrics, but they certainly aren’t dummies by any stretch of the imagination. This was a complete experience that felt much like 1993 and was certainly welcomed by all who were there in Pontiac this night.

Crash Test Dummies at the Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac, MI on Nov. 25, 2018. (Photos by Kirk Harris, K&M Photography)
Crash Test Dummies at the Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac, MI on Nov. 25, 2018. (Photos by Kirk Harris, K&M Photography)
Crash Test Dummies at the Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac, MI on Nov. 25, 2018. (Photos by Kirk Harris, K&M Photography)
Crash Test Dummies at the Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac, MI on Nov. 25, 2018. (Photos by Kirk Harris, K&M Photography)
Crash Test Dummies at the Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac, MI on Nov. 25, 2018. (Photos by Kirk Harris, K&M Photography)
Crash Test Dummies at the Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac, MI on Nov. 25, 2018. (Photos by Kirk Harris, K&M Photography)
Crash Test Dummies at the Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac, MI on Nov. 25, 2018. (Photos by Kirk Harris, K&M Photography)

Here’s hoping for some new Crash Test Dummies albums and more tours on the horizon.

To celebrate the tour, we spent a little time chatting with Ellen Reid about the 25th anniversary of God Shuffled His Feet:

It's the 25th anniversary of God Shuffled His Feet. Can you believe it's been that long?
It's the 25th anniversary of God Shuffled His Feet. Can you believe it's been that long?
What brought you guys back together for this tour and special moment?
What brought you guys back together for this tour and special moment?
When you decide to come back after that many years, does the connection take a while to get back or does is happen instantly?
When you decide to come back after that many years, does the connection take a while to get back or does is happen instantly?
This is a pretty complete reunion of the 1993 lineup, but Benjamin is missing. What happened there?
This is a pretty complete reunion of the 1993 lineup, but Benjamin is missing. What happened there?
I think I remember you said you wanted to retire when the band split after Oooh La La. What did you do during your retirement?
I think I remember you said you wanted to retire when the band split after Oooh La La. What did you do during your retirement?
I've noticed a lot of musicians want to come back after they retire. It must be hard to shake music out of your life?
I've noticed a lot of musicians want to come back after they retire. It must be hard to shake music out of your life?
God Shuffled His Feet was a pretty special album. What do you remember about recording it?
God Shuffled His Feet was a pretty special album. What do you remember about recording it?
Is it odd playing some of these songs again?
Is it odd playing some of these songs again?
Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm was a huge hit around the world. What do you think was the main ingredient that made that song connect with so many people?
Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm was a huge hit around the world. What do you think was the main ingredient that made that song connect with so many people?
I really liked it because it told the stories about the misfits we never heard about before.
I really liked it because it told the stories about the misfits we never heard about before.
Did it feel like a risk when selecting Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm as the first single?
Did it feel like a risk when selecting Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm as the first single?
There are so many remixes of that song on YouTube. Have you heard some of them, and what did you think of Weird Al's version?
There are so many remixes of that song on YouTube. Have you heard some of them, and what did you think of Weird Al's version?
The biggest thing about the Crash Test Dummies is the contrasting harmonies between Brad and yourself. I'm sure that didn't just happen - It must have taken a lot of work to find the right combination?
The biggest thing about the Crash Test Dummies is the contrasting harmonies between Brad and yourself. I'm sure that didn't just happen - It must have taken a lot of work to find the right combination?
Is it harder singing with someone that has such a low voice?
Is it harder singing with someone that has such a low voice?
The first time most people heard you out front was the Ballad of Peter Pumkinhead from Dumb and Dummer. Why did you guys pick that song for the soundtrack and how did it turn into your lead vocal?
The first time most people heard you out front was the Ballad of Peter Pumkinhead from Dumb and Dummer. Why did you guys pick that song for the soundtrack and how did it turn into your lead vocal?
Peter Pumpkinhead is a pretty heavy rock song for such a relaxed band. It surprised me when I first heard it.
Peter Pumpkinhead is a pretty heavy rock song for such a relaxed band. It surprised me when I first heard it.
You'll be touring through the US first on the reunion tour. Why the US first and will Canada get to see you?
You'll be touring through the US first on the reunion tour. Why the US first and will Canada get to see you?
What can fans expect to see and hear on this tour?
What can fans expect to see and hear on this tour?