Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

WXPN Welcomes

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

Broccoli Samurai, Official After Party w/ Kluster Phunk

Fri · February 9, 2018

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$16 in advance | $20 day of show

All Ages Admitted // 21 to drink with ID

At the request of the Artist, this is a Standing GA Show

Reserved Balcony seating available for Members only

For membership information, please contact the venue

 

VIP BOX: member $355 | non-member $435 CLICK FOR MORE INFO

SKYBOX: member $435 | non-member $515 CLICK FOR MORE INFO

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Pigeons Playing Ping Pong
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong
"We pour every ounce of ourselves into every note when we perform live,” says Pigeons Playing Ping Pong singer/guitarist Greg Ormont. “When we’re recording in the studio, we try to maintain that euphoria while finding a way to pack it into a tight, focused vessel. Each song becomes like a spring-loaded can of worms: there’s all this energy boxed up in a neat little package, and then when you come see us live, the cap comes off and the contents fly out in every direction like fireworks.”
It’s a whimsically apt metaphor for Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, a band whose very existence is rooted in the unyielding quest for joy and positive energy. Blending infectious funk grooves, psychedelic jams, and experimental electronics, the Baltimore four-piece’s new album, ‘Pizazz,’ is a buoyant, blissful reminder of just how much fun music can be. Eschewing the traditional funk band lineup that typically includes keyboards, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong constructs effervescent soundscapes with just two guitars, bass, and drums, crafting their music with a sophisticated ear for both open space and dense layering.
While ‘Pizazz’ is, in many ways, a familiar continuation of the journey that’s earned the band its rapidly expanding and rabidly devoted following (known as The Flock), it also marks the beginning of a new chapter for Pigeons Playing Ping Pong. The album’s eleven tracks are the group’s first recorded with new drummer Alex Petropulos, whose airtight grooves and explosive power push the band’s sound to new heights.
“We’ve had some of these songs in our live catalog for a while,” says Ormont, “but playing them with Alex has breathed new life into everything. His style and energy have revealed nooks and crannies that we didn’t even realize existed in the tracks. All music boils down to having a good drummer, especially in our dance-oriented jam world, and we’ve got the best drummer I’ve ever heard right now.”
It’s a bold claim, but Pigeons Playing Ping Pong has the live show to back it up. Glide Magazine called them “a band that melts faces and pulls no punches,” while C-Ville Weekly praised the growing “cult around [their] high-energy music, goofy stage antics, and all around good vibes,” and JamBase raved that guitarist/vocalist Jeremy Schon is “destined to become one of our generation’s finest guitarists.” Since the group’s inception nearly a decade ago at the University of Maryland (where the band’s name came to Ormont and Schon during a moment of transcendence in Psych 100), they’ve built up a reputation as one of the most engaging and life-affirming acts on the road, maintaining a relentless tour schedule that has them performing up to 200 shows a year and hitting festivals from coast to coast. The band even founded their own gathering, Domefest, which recently celebrated its eighth year and attracted nearly 2,000 members of The Flock for an immersive weekend of love, music, and community.
“It’s really important that our live show puts out as much energy as possible and promotes lightheartedness and positivity,” says Schon. “All that matters in the moment at a concert is what’s going on onstage and in the room around you, and we try to put on a show where people can really lose themselves in those moments and use our music as an outlet to feel good.”
The band chased those same ideals when they headed into producer Steve Wright’s WrightWay Studios in Baltimore to record ‘Pizazz,’ the follow-up to their 2016 fan-favorite ‘Pleasure.’ Tracking live on the floor, the foursome channeled all the rapture of their live shows into tight, crisp packages. Songs that may unfold onstage over the course of 20 minutes were reimagined for the studio, where they’d need to reach the same frenzied, emotional heights, in less than half that time.
“I think this album really shows attention to detail when it comes to choosing our moments and the way we’ve been able to make parts more concise without losing their natural feel,” says Ormont. “Having a strong drummer is a big part of that. Alex is able to convey so much feeling and bring us to those peaks and valleys really quickly and efficiently when we need him to.”
‘Pizazz’ opens up with the bouncing, carefree “Fun In Funk,” which finds the band proclaiming, “We put the fun in funk” over wah-wah guitars and an infectious rhythm section driven both by Petropulos’s drums and Ben Carrey’s fat, slinky bass lines.
“Funk is very fun, upbeat, happy music to begin with,” says Ormont. “It’s our mission to put that fun into everything we do.”
It’s a mission that Pigeons Playing Ping Pong was born for. The visceral sense of joy in their music acts as a sort of glue here, binding the band’s wildly versatile sounds into a cohesive and distinctive whole on the album. On “Somethin For Ya,” they channel 70’s disco and pair it with a wicked prog-rock solo, while tracks like “Offshoot” and “Too Long” embrace the group’s darker, more bass-and-electronics-influenced dance side. “Poseidon” and frequent show-closer “Ocean Flows,” on the other hand, showcase Pigeons’ bright, sparkling, melodic soul, as ‘Pizazz’ rises and falls with the same inimitable mix of precision and frenzy that defines the band’s one-of-a-kind live show.
Each Pigeon is a virtuosic musician and improviser in his own right, and the band’s songs are frequently born out of impromptu grooves and riffs. The swirling, trippy “Porcupine,” which clocks in at nearly eight minutes in all its jamming glory, taps into the uninhibited, open-ended nature of the band’s rehearsal sessions, while the driving “Henrietta” grew out of one of Schon’s soundcheck guitar loops. The island vibes of “Fox and Toad” are pure stream of consciousness written in the car after band practice, and “Doc” is a gritty, horn-fueled sing-along inspired by a Baltimore legend.
“There’s a homeless man named Doc who would always spend his time outside of the 8×10 in Federal Hill, where we learned to push our limits as a band,” says Ormont. “Doc always supported us. Even though he was sleeping under a bridge, he’d always ask you how you were doing. We really wanted to commemorate his toughness and positivity.”
It’s difficult to think of a more fitting match for a band like Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, who radiate positivity wherever they go. Whether it’s Doc or The Flock, the band wants to elevate each and every member of their audience to the kind of blissful place that only the most ecstatic live music can take you. It’s a place filled with beauty and light, joy and power, love and community, all delivered with a heaping dose of pizazz.
Broccoli Samurai
Broccoli Samurai
Since forming in Cleveland, OH in 2010, Broccoli Samurai has taken the club and festival scene by storm. Broccoli Samurai has sculpted a unique blend of their o...wn sound making something fresh in the scene. The band has been thrilling audiences across the nation winning them a massive and fiercely loyal fan base with their synth-laden progressive electronica sound fused with soulful hints of funk and jazz. Eager fans pack dance floors and festival sets, waiting to get lost in the band's ambient soundscapes, anticipating every note that will force them to move with reckless abandon.

Broccoli Samurai's line-up includes founding member Ryan "Bruce" Hodson on keys and synth, Cameron Bickley on drums and percussion, Michael Vincent on guitar and keys and synths, and Bassist Zachary Wolfe Nagi-Schehl

The band has played countless festivals such as Electric Forest, Peach Music Festival, Catskill Chill, Aura, Hullaween, Euphoria, The Werk Out, Floyd Fest, BIG What?!, Domefest, The Mad Tea Party Jam, SummerDance, Disc Jam, Night Lights along with many other amazing festivals across the nation. Broccoli Samurai has supported and toured with Dopapod, Papadosio, Lotus, Conspirator, EOTO, The Werks, Ozric Tentacles, BoomBOX, Big Gigantic, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Aqueous, TAUK, Twiddle, The New Deal, Perpetual Groove along with many other amazing national, regional and local acts.
Official After Party w/ Kluster Phunk
Official After Party w/ Kluster Phunk
Your ticket to the concert gets you FREE ENTRY into the Official After Party right next door in the Sherman Showcase, featuring a live performance by KLUSTER PHUNK // bar open late!
Venue Information:
Sherman Theater
524 Main Street
Stroudsburg, PA, 18360
http://www.shermantheater.com/