Pigeons Playing Ping Pong took the Ardmore Music Hall by storm on Saturday. Following a last minute change of openers due to unfortunate family circumstances for members of Aqueous, South Jersey’s Out Of The Beardspace filled the slot nicely. Impressing the crowd with some heavy shredding and a great sound, the fellas from Out Of The Beardspace proved themselves as a great choice to get the night started.
The headliners for the night then took the stage in style. Front man Greg Ormont, in his best Yoda voice, greeted the crowd along with bass player Ben Carrey utilizing a slide whistle for his C3P0 impression. The guys took no time getting into a Star Wars themed night, starting things off with a “20th Century Fox” intro jam straight into a Flock favorite “Melting Lights.” The funk force was strong within these Pigeons as they took their jam straight into a “Poseidon” sandwich with the Star Wars theme song smack dab in the middle.
The original songs kept flowing out of “Poseidon” into “Pop Off” followed by a personal favorite “Whoopie,” and “Ocean Flows.” The band did their signature synchronized head bob during “Whoopie,” adding theatrics to the always fun song.
Finishing out the first set with another sandwich comprised of “Stay” into the Cantina Band Song and back into “Stay,” the band announced they would be playing another set, and closed out the first one with an upbeat “Live It Up.”
After a short set break, the guys returned to the stage. Greg Ormont tied his hair into Princess Leia style side buns and Ben Carrey threw on a gorilla mask, signifying to the crowd that it was certainly time to throw this party into hyperspace.
Ormont greeted the second set briefly by saying “we’re going to try and get weird with this one,” and they certainly delivered. Opening the second set up with “Walk Outside” and another crowd pleasing “Sunny Day,” it was hard to spot anybody who wasn’t smiling from ear to ear.
The nice thing about the Ardmore Music Hall is that the band is super close to the audience, which makes it easy for the show to be a two-way interaction between the band and their audience. In this case, it was really great to see how the guys on stage truly feed off of the reactions of the crowd.
The biggest jam of the night started out with “Funk E Zekiel,” with an impressive solo from drummer Alex Petropulos in the middle, followed by a huge crowd pleasing Led Zeppelin cover in the form of “Kashmir,” straight into “Lightning Landing,” where the band kept the party going through an extended jam. The jam is really where the audience fed the band. By chanting the lyrics to Parliament Funkadelic’s “We Want The Funk,” Pigeons showed their improvisational chops by including it into their jam, which they concluded by flowing seamlessly into “E-Funk.”
The quartet followed their huge string of nonstop jams with a fun, Lotus-esque “Horizon,” and kept the Star Wars theme going with the “Imperial March” sandwiched between the ever-funky “Schwanthem” to close out the second set.
I’ve got to say, these guys really threw it down! Showing their experience as a band known to rage until late into the night (or into the early morning) by playing until 2 a.m., it was truly a party to be remembered… or not remembered depending on the individual.
I’ve said it once before, but these guys are coming in HOT through the ranks of festival bands. They’ll be hosting their own festival, DOMEFest, this May in Bedford, PA. Don’t miss out!
Setlist courtesy of the band:
Dec 19, 2015 @ Ardmore Music Hall (Philadelphia, PA)
20th Century Fox >
Melting Lights >
Poseidon* > Star Wars Theme > Poseidon*
Stay > Cantina Song > Stay >
Live It Up
Funk E Zekiel > Drums > Funk E Zekiel > Kashmir > Lightning
Landing > Jam > E-Funk
Schwanthem > Imperial March > Schwanthem
* Lyric change to “Darth Vader took my throat, I need a Millennium Falcon”
^ Lyric change to “Wookie do that funk!”
% Lyric change to “Smoking weed with the Sith”