Crash Test Is Back

The rivalry between Philadelphia and New York takes a hiatus this week, at least when it comes to the Crash Test Dummies. The folk-rock act will deliver a seven-piece show Tuesday night in the City of Brother Love and in Gotham Saturday night.        The rest of the country will witness a three-piece concert as the act offers cuts from its latest album, ‘Oooh La La,’ which drops today.          “There is common ground between New York and Philly because of us,” singer-songwriter Brad Roberts said while calling from his Manhattan apartment. “If you’re not in one of those two cities, you get the acoustic show, which personally I think is more powerful but I think a lot of people are going to enjoy what we do in Philadelphia. It’s a special show.”       New Yorkers are accustomed to experiencing concerts that are not of the norm. The big reason Philly is getting preferential treatment is due to WXPN-FM, which has supported the Crash Test Dummies since the band was a virtually unknown act out of Canada back during the early ‘90s. So it’s no surprise that the Crash Test Dummies will play tonight at the World Café Live.       “We can’t say enough about how well ‘XPN has treated us,” Roberts said. “We’ll always owe the station and since they have the World Café Live, we can play there and do something that will only be done in New York.”         Roberts is flanked for the tour by keyboardist Ellen Reid and guitarist Stuart Cameron. The trio will be joined by a drummer, a bassist, a guitarist and a multi-instrumentalist for the World Café show.        That should benefit the cuts from ‘Oooh La La,’ which features the most baroque material the act has ever released.        “This is the most lush album we’ve ever come up with,” Roberts said. “We just went into a different direction.”      Roberts made much of the album using the Optigan, a keyboard, which utilizes pre-recorded optical soundtracks to reproduce sounds.       “I was messing around with the instrument about 12 years ago and I never forgot it,” Roberts said. “It changed things up and that was a good thing because change is what everyone needs.”        Much has changed for Crash Test Dummies since the act’s last album was released seven-years ago.  The group has shrunk from a quintet to a trio.      “But that’s all good for us,” Roberts said. “It’s a metamorphosis. We’re up to the task.  People change over the years and so do bands.”


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