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.
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: