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Review: Crash Test Dummies Live in PTA


Last weekend I made my way to the Crash Test Dummies show in Pretoria at the National Botanical Gardens. There was cold beer, good music and a lekker vibe – it was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

I arrived at the venue between 1 and 2 PM and I’m sad that I missed Adventure Man‘s set, but what I could hear on my way into the venue was great. After getting tagged and making sure that I had a cold beer to ease my thirst (enhanced by the boiling hot Pretoria sun) I arrived at the stage just before the Bed On Bricks’ set.

The local opening acts for Crash Test Dummies were top notch

The last time I watched Bed On Bricks play was probably in 2014 at the Bastille concert in Johannesburg and it was great seeing these okes play again. I really enjoyed the rocking trip down memory lane, I think I ended somewhere in 2006 clothed with an Oppikoppi T-shirt on and an ice cold Black Label in one hand.

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Next up were aKING and it was great seeing them live for the first time in 2018. They played all the songs I was expecting them to play and the crowd and I loved it. The crowd singing along to Safe As Houses never gets old and it will always be amazing song in my books. Can you believe that it’s turning 11 years old in 2018? Because I can’t.

Wonderboom were up next and they fed the rock ‘n roll kids exactly what they could have been craving after aKING. The played quite a few songs off their new album, but they mixed up their set nicely with some golden oldies like Never Gonna Let You GoAfrica (which was their way of expressing their gratitude that Zuma is not our President anymore), On The Radio and Charlie (which had the crowd bouncing up and down in no time).

Around 5:20 PM Canadian legends Crash Test Dummies stepped onto the stage, much to delight of the crowd and myself. They played a mixed bag of tunes (from all the albums they’ve released over the years), but the focus was on their 1993 breakthrough album God Shuffled His Feet. I remembered listening to that album on repeat when I was in high school and it didn’t take me long to remember the lyrics to most of the songs that were on it.

Lead singer Brad Roberts joked about what he called “the vaping craze that’s happening everywhere and how he’s confused by it” (because it doesn’t smell like a certain illegal herb that one can smoke). He also expressed relief about us Pretorians not making him feel guilty about taking a shower.

Overall their set was amazing and the best part of it for me was probably hearing “Afternoons and Coffee Spoons” and “Mmm Mmm Mmm” (two of my favourite tracks by them). It was great seeing South African musicians like Schalk Joubert supporting Brad Roberts and his guitarists on stage.

Kudos to Gareth, Nicol, Melos and everyone else for giving us the opportunity to watch Crash Test Dummies live in South Africa. The event was well organized and everything ran smoothly. I hope that you bring some more amazing acts to South Africa in the near future.

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