Pigeons Put the F.U. in Fun & Funk Over Sold Out Brooklyn Bowl Run May 8, 2018 13:14

Words by Kenny Cunningham: Live & Listen

Photos by John R. Wisdom Photography

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong is one of the hottest up-and-coming acts in the jam scene, and this weekend at Brooklyn Bowl proved why. Not many bands are capable of filling up the Bowl for one night, nonetheless three, especially when considering that they were up against Jazz Fest, which annually brings many New Yorkers down to NoLa. But the Pigeons had their flock out in full force, packing out the Brooklyn venue and keeping the full house grooving all weekend.Their astronomical rise through the scene has been a joy to watch, and it makes total sense; musically, they bring the heat and provide what their crowd is there for—funky, danceable bass lines, power drumming, soaring peaks. Performance-wise, they are top-notch, with a lighting design that matches the enthusiasm of the band onstage, and they just look like they’re having so much damn fun!

This weekend showcased all of those reasons that Pigeons are experiencing this meteoric ascent, from their choreographed playing and superb lighting design to their high energy stage presence to the dancey funky fun they bring. Beginning Thursday night, it was apparent that the crowd was ready to get down. And the Pigeons didn’t disappoint! They opened the first night with “Whoopie,” with rhythm guitarist “Scrambled” Greg Ormont, lead guitarist Jeremy Schon, and bassist Ben Carrey engaged in a choreographed head-nod dance move. And the fun continued straight from there until the encore on Saturday night.

The band played 6 sets without repeats and many fun covers, including “Hava Nagila” (a fun Pigeons staple), “Hyrule Castle” (the theme song from classic Nintendo video game “Zelda”), “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” (from The Lion King), the Star Wars “Cantina Song” and “Imperial March,” the Beatles’ “Get Back,” The Velvet Underground’s “Rock & Roll,” “Tequila,” Michael Jackson’s “Pretty Young Thing,” and The Who’s “Pinball Wizard.” And they of course broke out some of their most popular hits, like “F U,” “Fun In Funk,” “Julia,” “Poseideon,” “Horizon,” and “Melting Lights.” Each set was fun, funky, spacey, raging, and different. The energy inside Brooklyn Bowl was off the charts, and the crowd was dancing and having as much fun as the band!

Brooklyn Bowl plays host to many great bands, nights, and shows, and these three soldout PPPP shows should stand near the top of performances there. When Pigeons wrapped up on Saturday night with “Zydeko,” the crowd was not ready for the fun to end! And the way Pigeons are going, it doesn’t have to! They can be seen next at Domefest, their curated festival in Bedford, PA, from 5/17-5/19, as well as at Summer Camp Music Festival (Chillicothe, IL 5/25-5/27), Great South Bay Music Festival (Patchogue, NY 6/14), Peach Music Festival (Scranton, PA 7/19), LOCKN’ (Arrington, VA 8/25), and many other great events throughout the summer. 

Setlist: Pigeons Playing Ping Pong - Brooklyn Bowl - 05.03.18

Set One: Whoopie, Somethin’ For Ya > Havana > Spacejam > The Hop > F.U., Fortress, Porcupine, Hava Nagila > Schwanthem

Set Two: Too Long > Upfunk > Hyrule > Upfunk > Drums > Upfunk, Dawn A New Day, Kiwi > I Just Can’t Wait To Be King, Burning Up My Time > Condenser > Su Casa > Condenser, Doc

Encore: Sail On

Setlist: Pigeons Playing Ping Pong - Brooklyn Bowl - 05.04.18

Set 1: Fun In Funk, Live It Up, Penguins > Funkijam > Time To Ride > Cantina Song > Time To Ride, Bad For You, Fox And Toad, Get Back*

Set 2: Totally, Sunny Day, Horizon > Offshoot, Walk Outside, White Night > Imperial March > White Night, Ocean Flows

Encore: King Kong

Notes: * w/ Jon Brady (Electric Love Machine) on keys

Setlist: Pigeons Playing Ping Pong - Brooklyn Bowl - 05.05.18

Set 1: Pop Off, Poseidon, Drunk People, Landing > Jam > Rock and Roll > Funk E Zekiel, Julia

Set 2: J-Town > Melting Lights > Jam* > Fade Fast, High As Five > P.Y.T. > Pinball Wizard > High As Five, The Liquid, Henrietta, Skipjack

Encore: Zydeko

Notes: * w/ Tequila tease

Watch Pigeons Playing Ping Pong close out the three-night run with "Zydeko" here: