The Westville Music Bowl in New Haven, CT was once again the hot spot in the Northeast for outstanding jam bands, as Pigeons Playing Ping Pong delivered a fiery evening of their signature psychedelic funk. Connecticut’s finest were on hand to elevate the festivities, including supporting artist Eggy and guitar virtuoso Tim Palmeri. Tonight’s show finally felt like summer, as temperatures were in the 80’s, which added more heat to an already hot event.
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong is from Baltimore, Md, and is known for their unparalleled live energy and great stage presence, as well as their catalog of explorative songs. The band consists of Greg Ormont (Vocals, Guitar), Jeremy Schon (Guitar, Vocals), Ben Carrey (Bass, Vocals) and Alex Petropulos (Drumagic, Electro-Swag).
Connecticut’s own jam specialists, Eggy, supported the flock tonight. They are currently making a name for themselves in the jam band genre, and are scheduled to tour with Spafford this fall. Tonight, they entered the venue wearing tennis gear and took a lap around the floor, honoring the tennis history of the Westville Music Bowl. Their set included a tasty cover of the jazz classic "Birdland" by the Weather Report, which fired up the crowd and set the tone for the evening.
Shortly after Eggy’s set concluded, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong took the stage, armed with smiles and excitement. The set began with the classic “Henrietta,” from the album Pizazz, which transitioned into “Lost in Line.” Another Pizazz tune, the funky “Something For Ya,” was up next, which segued into “Time to Ride,” from the album Psychology. The band dropped more delicious tunes with “Socerer," “Poseidon," and fan favorite “Sail On.” The first set closed out on a high note with “Born to Run,” a cover by Bruce Springsteen, sandwiched between jam vehicle “King Kong.”
Set two resumed the psychedelic jam fest, starting with new tune “In the Bubble” and “Lowdown.” Another funky sequence followed with “Ocean Flows” into Psychology's “Sunny Day.” Ormont then grabbed the microphone and took a moment to acknowledge the bittersweet departure of Mike Rempel from the electronic jam band Lotus in September after 23 years. He assured fans that Lotus “is in good hands,” as Connecticut guitarist Tim Palmieri (The Breakfast, Kung Fu) is stepping in to replace Rempel. The audience applause was followed by Palmieri joining Pigeons on stage for an electrifying cover of Jimi Hendrix’s "Fire." The flawless guitar lick exchange between Schon and Palmieri during this song was worth the price of admission alone.
The set wrapped up with two songs from their 2016 release Pleasure, “Kiwi” > “Burning Up My Time.” The fired up audience quickly launched into a “one more song” chant when the band walked off stage. After a few moments, Pigeons obliged and encored with “Offshoot,” sending the crowd home thirsty for more.
Thankfully, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong has a few dates on the calendar this summer including Peach Fest in Scranton, PA over the July 4th weekend. They also have shows scheduled in Swanzey, NH and Roseland, VA during July. Tickets and more details are available at www.pigeonsplayingpingpong.com.
Henrietta > Lost In Line, Somethin For Ya > Time to Ride, Socerer, Poseidon, Sail On, King Kong > Born To Run1 > King Kong
In The Bubble, Lowdown, Ocean Flows > Sunny Day, Fire23, Kiwi > Burning Up My Time
1 Bruce Springstein cover
2 Tim Palmieri on guitar (Lotus)
3 Jimi Hendrix cover