This past weekend, Baltimore-native funk-jam quartet Pigeons Playing Ping Pong kicked off the main stretch of their coast-to-coast fall tour behind new LP, Pizzazz, with three sold-out shows in Colorado.
On Friday, Pigeons hosted their second annual Flocktoberfest event, which was hosted at the Boulder Theater in Boulder, Colorado, this year. The full-day event, sponsored by local Avery Brewing Co., included a free outdoor stage prior to Pigeons’ headlining performance inside the theatre. The outdoor festivities ahead of the show saw Magic Beans keyboardist side project, Casey Russell’s Soul Shack, perform with special guests Eddie Roberts (New Mastersounds) and Chuck Morris (Lotus).
Following an outdoor showcase with wind gusts seemingly sent from the Land of Oz, Pigeon’s devoted fanbase, “The Flock,” headed into the theater for the main event. Boulder, Colorado locals Amoramora got the night started with a bang, showcasing the hard work they put in to prepare for their Boulder Theater debut. By the end of their 45-minute set, the venue was packed tight and the entire room’s full focus was on the four young men, front and center.
With the upcoming October 20th release of, Pizazz—their first studio release with drummer Alex Petropulous—Pigeon’s Playing Ping Pong have an extraordinary amount of recent successes to celebrate. This past August, the quartet wowed LOCKN’s 20,000-plus attendees, and in January, the band will set sail for their Jam Cruise debut. To say that this band is on the up and up would be an understatement; this band is already flying high.
Fridays night’s Boulder show was packed-full of surprises, as the band opened with a fiery “Too Long>The Liquid,” igniting a dance party that raged throughout the birds’ performance. Over the years, guitarist/vocalist Greg Ormont has used a keen comedic sensibility to develop into a captivating frontman, and Friday evening showed no signs of the wacky-scramble-man slowing down. The tight and seamless playing segued perfectly from one creative jam to the next, with a monstrous “Sunny Day> The Hop,” that showered the sunny crowd with the feels “like pouring rain.”
Watch Pigeons Playing Ping Pong’s set-opening “Too Long > The Liquid” from their Boulder performance below via Nugs.TV:
Casey Russell (Magic Beans) got a big hometown welcome as Pigeon’s invited him up to sit in on fan-favorite “F.U.,” trading impressive funk-filled solos with guitarist Jeremy Schon, the capacity crowd bouncing along in true Colorado fashion. The guest appearances continued from there, as Lotus’s Chuck Morris added some extra percussion for dream set-closing “Whoopie>1999>Whoopie,” jam sandwich, a musical meal aficionados would dream of.
Set two began off with “Pop Off,” before Morris returned to the stage to join the band for the remainder of the set–one that will surely go down in Pigeons Playing Ping Pong history. PPPP staples “Henrietta” and “Poseidon” were both given sonically meaty renditions as Schon and bassist Ben Carrey blew the roof off the room with their extreme precision and synchronicity as an unstoppable unit. Let’s face it, folks, lead guitarist Jeremy Schon lays down some of the tastiest licks in the jamband scene these days, and his focus on honing his skills as a guitar virtuoso has never been more clear.
Watch Pigeons open their second set at the Boulder Theater with “Pop Off” below via Nugs.TV:
Another massive sandwich got the special treatment, as Ormont lead the band into an extended “Offshoot> Pink Panther> Offshoot,” followed by another impressive stretch of, “Penguins>Funkijam>Upfunk.” Finally the set came to a close with a scorching “The Ride,” before the quartet returned for a “Horizon” curtain call.
Following the band’s Flocktoberfest blowout in Boulder, the band continued through the Rocky Mountain State, playing to capacity crowds at Old Town Pub in Steamboat Springs on Saturday night and at Belly Up Aspen on Sunday. With the funky birds’ three-night, three-city, three sell-out Colorado stint now in the books, Pigeon’s Playing Ping Pong’s “Pizzazz Tour” is finally airborne and soaring to a city near you.
For a full list of upcoming Pigeons Playing Ping Pong dates, or to purchase tickets to any of the band’s Fall 2017 shows, head to their website.
Below, check out a full gallery of photos from Pigeons’ Boulder Theater show courtesy of Sam Silkworth (Silky Shots).
SETLIST: Pigeons Playing Ping Pong | Flocktoberfest| Boulder Theater | Boulder, CO | 10/6/17
Set 1: Too Long > The Liquid, Zydeko
Sunny Day > The Hop > F.U.^, Whoopie* > 1999* > Whoopie*
Set 2: Pop Off, Henrietta*, Poseidon*, Offshoot* > Pink Panther* > Offshoot*, Penguins* > Funkijam* > Upfunk*, Fortress* > Time To Ride
^ w/ Casey Russell (Magic Beans) on keys
* w/ Chuck Morris (Lotus) on percussion
SETLIST: Pigeons Playing Ping Pong | Old Town Pub | Steamboat Springs, CO | 10/7/17
Set 1: Porcupine, Landing > Jam > White Night > Imperial March > White Night, Fun In Funk, Whirled, Kiwi > Drunk People > Schwames Bond* > Drunk People
Set 2: Live Life > Bad For You, Burning Up My Time > Pigs (3 Different Ones) > Live It Up, Sail On, Skipjack, Julia
* Last time played 8/26/2015
SETLIST: Pigeons Playing Ping Pong | Belly Up Aspen | Aspen, CO | 10/8/17
Walk Outside, J. Town > Melting Lights > King Kong, Doc, Funk E. Zekiel > Kashmir > Lightning, Somethin For Ya > Totally > Schwanthem > Fade Fast > Ocean Flows
Encore: Avalanche, Couldn’t We All
[Cover photo via Silky Shots]