By Collin Breaux
Mmm mmm mmm mmm.
So goes the refrain from the ’90s hit song by Crash Test Dummies.
Come Aug. 13, the audience at The Coach House will surely be humming along.
The Canadian band—famous for their 1993 hit album God Shuffled His Feet—will be stopping at the San Juan Capistrano venue as part of a 2022 tour. The South Orange County concert will be only one of three California gigs for Crash Test Dummies, the other two being in San Francisco and Sacramento.
Lead singer Brad Roberts, whose deep voice provides the memorable melody of their famous single, said the upcoming San Juan show will be a combination of songs from God Shuffled His Feetand other albums. Roberts doesn’t recall playing The Coach House before and was curious about the venue. When told about the building’s layout, which includes table seating in front of the stage, his anticipation for the concert grew.
All the original members of Crash Test Dummies will be on stage except their harmonica player. The band is, as Roberts puts it, “making up for lost time” with the tour, because they had to cancel previously scheduled shows during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s tour will also take them farther up the West Coast to Portland and Seattle.
“You drive, drive and drive through towns,” Roberts said. “Sometimes, they’re far apart.”
Like many other musicians and performing artists, Crash Test Dummies is getting back into touring after the global shutdown. Their North American dates come on the heels of a recent European tour, where Roberts raved about the coffee and hotel breakfast options. Particularly, he reminisced about the salty scrambled eggs and cured meats he sampled in Germany and other countries.
“They are unbelievably huge, lavish spreads,” Roberts said. “Every day, fresh bread.”
The North American tour will conclude on their home turf of Canada, coming full circle.
Roberts kept busy during the COVID-19 lockdown and, unlike some other people, didn’t get antsy during it—which he partly attributes to sharing an apartment with his “beautiful wife.” He took the time to jump back into musical education and learned to play the classical piano.
“I’m not a piano player,” he said. “I’m taking it up in my old age.”
Roberts acknowledged that classical piano is a bit different than the folk-tined rock of Crash Test Dummies, who are celebrating their 30th anniversary as they hit the road to play in front of fans.
“It makes me feel old, but very grateful,” Roberts said. “We have a loyal following.”
He attributes that enduring interest to the storytelling and lyrical aspect of Crash Test Dummies, who touch upon childhood and religious experiences in “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm.” Roberts said he has also personally read comments from people who are struck by the “sonic quality” of the music.
“It has a thickly layered veneer to it,” he said.
What: Crash Test Dummies
When: Saturday, Aug. 13. Doors open at 6 p.m.; concert starts at 8 p.m.
Where: 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano
For tickets or more info: thecoachhouse.com. Tickets are $35.
Collin Breaux covers San Juan Capistrano and other South Orange County news as the City Editor for The Capistrano Dispatch. Before moving to California, he covered Hurricane Michael, politics and education in Panama City, Florida. He can be reached by email at email@example.com.