Pigeons Playing Ping Pong returned for another night of high flying funk and good times at the Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn, NY on April 14, 2023. They played a rare three night stand at the well known New York City venue. Night two was one for the ages and almost non-stop for two sets. Several members of the indie soul band Melt joined the fun at various points. Kendall Street Company provided their support this on this very warm evening, as the temperatures were close to ninety degrees once again.
Kendall Street Company got the sold out crowd going on this unseasonably mild Spring day with their blend of psychedelic and progressive jazz rock. The Virginia based squad consisted of Louis Smith (Rhythm Guitar/Lead Vocals), Brian Roy (Bass), Ryan Wood (Drums), Ben Laderberg (Lead Guitar), and Jake Vanaman (Saxophone/Keys). They brought a laid back spunk and feel good set that included crowd participation and comedy from the band. Incidentally, none of the band members were wearing shoes, which is part of their easy going schtick.
The Brooklyn Bowl was packed as Pigeons Playing Ping took the stage later in the evening. The band was full of smiles, eager to oblige the crowd with musical improvisation, and kicked things off with "Move Like That." Guitarist Jeremy Schon was in the the pocket early. The music funkily flowed into "Weightless" and ended with "Doc," which is on their 2017 release Pizazz.
A breezy "Fade Fast" was up next, and set the stage for "The Pretender," by the Foo Fighters. Saxophonist Nick Sare and trumpeter Evan Lane, from the band Melt, joined the foursome for this alt rock tune, and really elevated the dance party. Newer song "Alright Tonight" precluded a fiery "Poseidon," also from Pizzaz, and ended this steamy set.
The Baltimore, MD based quartet returned to the stage after a quick break, started the set with a melodic "Lowdown." This transitioned into a bass driven "Upfunk," with bassist Ben Carrey leading the way into a disco funk inspired jam. Pigeons' drummer Alex Petropulos showed his skills during a monster drum solo. The band then traveled back into "Upfunk," leaving "Lowdown" unfinished.
The crowd had worked up a sweat by this point, albeit ready for the next tune. The band unfurled more, as they moved into "Burning Up My Time." Guitarist and singer Greg Ormont was animated as the band transitioned into the Quad City DJ's "Space Jam," from the popular 90's movie of the same name. Carrey jumped onto the amps in true rock star fashion. The music moved into "The Hop," followed by the quintessential "F.U." The band continued to play, as both Sare and Lane returned to the stage with their band mate and singer Veronia Stewart-Frommer from Melt. This now septet dove into Bob Marley's "Could You Be Loved," with Stewart-Frommer and Ormont sharing vocal duties. This tune was last played on June 10, 2016 by Pigeons Playing Ping Pong.
The second set closed out with a raging "Donkey Hotel." The band returned to encore with an inspired "Ocean Flows," which completed the Pizazz hat trick.
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong galvanized the Brooklyn crowd with their memorable run at the Brooklyn Bowl. They are on tour, and making appearances this weekend at the Backwoods at Mulberry Mountain and Sweetwater 420 Festivals. Head on over to their tour page for more details about their schedule.
Check out more photos from the show, and our previous coverage of Pigeons Playing Ping Pong at the Brooklyn Bowl on April 13th.
Set One: Move Like That > Weightless > Doc, Fade Fast, The Pretender12, Alright Tonight > Poseidon
Set Two: Lowdown3 > Upfunk > Drums > Upfunk, Burning Up My Time > Space Jam4 > The Hop > F.U. > Could You Be Loved256 > F.U., Donkey Hotel
Enncore: Ocean Flows
1. Foo Fighters
2. With Evan and Nick (Melt) on trumpet and saxophone
4. Quad City DJ's
5. Bob Marley
6. With Veronica (Melt) on vocals