Pigeons Playing Ping Pong | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Free At Noon Flashback: Pigeons Playing Ping Pong brings the flock to World Cafe Live
Baltimore jam-rock four-piece Pigeons Playing Ping Pong took a packed house of their devotees (the self-described “flock”) on a fun and funky sonic odyssey at World Cafe Live for today’s Free at Noon concert.
Led by wild-eyed, extremely animated singer-guitarist Greg Ormont and featuring Jeremy Schon on guitar, Ben Carrey on bass, and Alex Petropulos on drums, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong has a new album called Presto out next Friday, and the crowd today got an early listen to more than half of the new songs — seven of Free at Noon’s eight songs will appear on Presto, but you would never guess that these were new jams based on the audience’s reaction. Fans grooved, swayed, and bopped around the room, and the band reciprocated their energy, Oromont making eye contact and giving hi-fives to everybody he could reach.
The music ranged from expansive funk — “King Kong” chugging along to an urgent wah-pedal guitar line — to sounds that draw on Afropop and Latin music — “Fortress,” which landed after the set break. And after the closing to “Sail On” rang out, the band declared “I think we’ve heard enough Presto, you’ll have to listen to the rest online. Let’s try something fun.” And they launched into a ten-minute cover of Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer” to the room’s delight.
Listen back to the entire performance, flip through a photo gallery, and peruse the setlist below. Pigeons Playing Ping Pong’s next regional appearance is June 2nd at Scranton’s Peach Music Festival; more information and their full tour itinerary can be found at their website.
Dawn A New Day
High As Five
E. Fun In Funk