Long-dormant Canadian New Wave act Men Without Hats — or at least frontman Ivan Doroschuk and some backing musicians — will return to the stage tonight at a British Columbia music festival as a “publicity stunt” to help promote next year’s planned “DanceIfYouWantTour 2011” — much to the apparent displeasure of Doroschuk’s brother and former bandmate.
Armed, no doubt with their once-ubiquitous ’80s hits “The Safety Dance” and “Pop Goes the World,” Men Without Hats are set to play the Rifflandia Festival in Victoria, B.C., tonight, headlining a five-act bill at the tiny 150-seat Metro Studio Theatre.
On the band’s message board, a fan posted an e-mail from Doroschuk explaining “the concert is more of a publicity stunt than anything” and that “we’re doing it mainly to let people know we’re back and that we’re on tour, and we’ll be playing near you pretty soon, it’s called the ‘DanceIfYouWantTour 2011.'”
Yet Stefan Doroschuk — who formed the core of Men Without Hats with his brother, and was part of the 2003 reunion album No Hats Beyond This Point — isn’t thrilled about the news. Posting on the band’s forum himself, he initially was unaware of the show, warning fans, “If anything, Ivan will be playing solo without me, but even that would surprise me. … So if it happens and you want to see Ivan lead a cover band playing MWH songs, go for it.”
Earlier this week, Stefan popped up again, posting, “If you’ve always wanted to see Ivan perform, go to this show because me thinks it might be the only time he will play under my band’s name.” Someone representing the festival also posted on the board, confirming that the third Doroschuk brother, Colin, also will not be appearing tonight.