Pigeons Playing Ping Pong kicked off their three-night residency at New York City’s Brooklyn Bowl on Thursday with two sets loaded full of dance-friendly jams that had the entire venue partying hard until the early hours of Friday morning. The wildly fun psychedelic funk/rock quartet from Baltimore have built a loyal following within the jam scene thanks to their charismatic performances and high-energy dance parties. With their current North American spring tour now about halfway through, Pigeon’s Thursday night show certainly gave fans in attendance at the Brooklyn venue quite the intro to their upcoming weekend of fun.
Singer and rhythm guitarist “Scrambled” Greg Ormont led the way from the vocal standpoint, sporting a blue t-shirt with pajama-like pants to compliment bassist Ben Carrey’s equally fun concert attire. Both bushy-haired musicians were locked in with lead guitarist Jeremy Schon, who belongs right up there with the top guitarists in music with his ability to keep the music consistently breathing. The band’s first set of the night was a bit more traditional in terms of verse-chorus song structures as they warmed the venue up with a mix of material off their latest studio album, Pizazz.
Set two didn’t have as much singing, rather filled with more jam-based instrumentals that had each member firing on all fronts. Any band that can weave in teases and covers of “Hava Nagila,” the “Legend of Zelda” theme and “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” without missing a beat is all aces in this writer’s book.
“More often than not, our songwriting comes from group collaboration,” Ormonts said of their new music in an interview with AXS earlier this year. “We try to have it be very open, very collaborative. There’s sort of this no bad idea mentality so that people feel comfortable pitching crazy musical ideas.”
Photos of the band’s performance from Thursday can be seen above. They’ll continue to tour throughout the spring, with a highlight show at Denver’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre with Moe. scheduled for July 12.