Last night, moe. finally returned to Red Rocks Amphitheatre, after being forced to cancel their show last year following bassist Rob Derhak’s cancer diagnosis. The band brought Pigeons Playing Ping Pong along for the ride, allowing the Baltimore-based funk act to finally debut at the iconic venue. Since their canceled 2017 Red Rocks show, both moe. and Pigeons Playing Ping Pong have grown closer as friends, as we saw guitarist Al Schnier sit in with the Pigeons boys at Summer Camp Music Festival this year.
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong delivered a heavy-hitting 75-minute set, and their hardcore fanbase, known to many as “The Flock,” showed up big time for the boys’ maiden voyage on the Rocks. As the opening riff to “Porcupine” started, guitarist Greg Ormont stepped to the front of the stage and belted out the song’s opening line, ” Shoulda warned ya, of California,” with tenacity and energy that would clearly be permeating throughout the remainder of the set. “Something For Ya” off of 2017’s Pizazz was up next, with bassist Ben Carrey throwing down some extremely sticky licks. Carrey and drummer Alex Petropulos are a force to be reckoned with, providing the perfect rhythm section for Ormont and lead guitarist Jeremy Schon to do what they do best: shred.
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong – “Porcupine”
“Something For Ya” gave way to a beautiful rendition of “Julia”, allowing the energized crowd to sing along. The funk instrumental “Avalanche” was next up, with Schon absolutely tearing it to pieces, hammering notes away on his beautiful PRS guitar. Pigeons’ Disney-themed New Year’s Eve show was extremely well-received among their fanbase, and the Pigeons boys brought “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” from The Lion King to Red Rocks in the grandest fashion. A massive “Horizon”> “Poseidon” pairing was dished up next, with all four members shining bright and proving themselves at one of the country’s most beloved music venues.
The upbeat and comical “The Liquid” followed, with Jeremy Schon laying down some standout blues licks in between the breaks of the main theme of the song. Schon led his bandmates into “Dawn A New Day”, a perfect selection to close out their debut Red Rocks appearance with. Pigeons Playing Ping Pong have become beyond comfortable and fluid together as a unit, and last night they were in their absolute purest form. The quartet took a bow, as the crowd exploded with applause.
Setlist: Pigeons Playing Ping Pong | Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre | Morrison, CO | 7/12/2018
Set: Porcupine, Something For Ya> Julia, Avalanche, Just Can’t Wait To Be King, Horizon> Poseidon, The Liquid, Dawn A New Day
moe. was up next, marking their return back to Red Rocks after being forced to cancel their Red Rocks show in 2017. “Seat Of My Pants” got the show started off, before the moe. boys offered up a whirlwind of a jamming set. It was clear as day that they were as grateful to be back, as their fans were to have them, and bassist Rob Derhak was on fire. Al Schnier and Chuck Garvey traded off smoking-hot solos, and the five-piece seamlessly segued into “Who You Calling Scared?” led by Garvey. Percussionist Jim Loughlin went to town on the xylophone, getting the crowd all sorts of loose and funky, with the sun setting and the Denver skyline in the distance.
moe. – “Seat Of My Pants”
“Captain America” gave way to “Buster”, which would come back into play later in the night during the second set. “Pastorus”, the segue/jam that was debuted at Summer Camp on 5/26/18 and now officially has a name, provided the perfect transition before the Schnier led “Silver Sun”. Drummer Vinnie Amico paired with Loughlin lay down one of the tightest backbones in the jam scene, allowing Garvey to soar during the peak of “Silver Sun”. A tightly knit “Akimbo”> “ATL”> “Puebla” brought the heavy-hitting set one to a close.
moe. came back out ser set two, and opened with “Plane Crash”, before quickly diverting away from the main theme into “Buster”. A massive “Buster”> “Four”> “Skrunk”> “Prestige Worldwide”> “Silver Sun” would comprise the meat for the “Plane Crash” sandwich, which rocked Red Rocks for the majority of their second set. After crashing back into “Plane Crash”, the crowd erupted, with moe. finally delivered the lyrics that they jumped away from so quickly at the beginning of set two. Taking no time to catch their breaths, the opening chords to “Letter Home” rang out, and a smooth breeze washed over the elated Red Rocks crowd. Showcasing some beautiful harmonies, moe. brought it all home with “Wind It Up”, to close a set two that will be talked about in moe.nation for the foreseeable future.
moe. – “Plane Crash”
For their encore, moe. invited Pigeons Playing Ping Pong guitarists Greg Ormont and Jeremy Schon back up to assist them on a dazzling cover of David Bowie’s “Fame”. With four guitarists onstage and a crowd that could go for another set, this was a perfect way to bring the joyous evening to an end.
Setlist: moe. | Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre | Morrison, CO | 7/12/2018
I: Seat Of My Pants > Who You Calling Scared? > Captain America >(nh) Buster > Pastorus# > Silver Sun > Akimbo > ATL > Puebla
II: Plane Crash > Buster > Four > Skrunk > Prestige Worldwide > Silver Sun > Plane Crash >(nh) Letter Home >(nh) Wind It Up
Notes: w/ Greg Ormont and Jeremy Schon on guitar/ vox from Pigeons Playing Ping Pong | # official title of segue/jam debuted at Summer Camp 5/26/18 | ## LTP> 2/02/17
You can check out a gallery of photos from last night’s show below, courtesy of Bill McAlaine.