Review & Photos | Consider The Source And Pigeons Playing Ping Pong | Brooklyn

Words By: Chadbyrne Dickens
Images By: Karla Espino

Consider the Source & Pigeons Playing Ping Pong :: 1.30.14 :: Brooklyn Bowl :: Brooklyn, NY

Read Chad's full review after the gallery...

January 30th was an ideal celebration for the future of jam music. With members of The Grateful Dead, Phish and Allman Brothers within or reaching Social Security, one must dig deep into the ranks for the next wave of passionate performances within the genre. One must look no farther than the quickly-ascending bands Consider the Source and Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, who both delivered outstanding sets at Brooklyn Bowl on this memorable night, to feel at ease that the genre is in solid hands.

The old adage claims "birds of a feather flock together" and the band Pigeons Playing Ping Pong has garnered an extensive fan base, or "flock," in recent years through relentless touring across the nation. With origins dating back to 2006 when Jeremy Schon and Greg Ormont met in a dorm room at the University of Maryland, this Baltimore-based flock is a unique one, consisting of talented musicians, each possessing their own voice and style. Voice Pigeon, Ormont, who writes the majority of the vocals, wore a Pigeons t-shirt and his patented pajama pants which makes a fan feel comfortable as if at a private concert in their own living room. Guitar Pigeon and Phish fan, Schon, is a shredding virtuoso with stellar chops well beyond his years and is destined to become one of our generation's finest guitarists. Bass Pigeon, Ben Carrey, is an eccentric soul adorning wild psychedelic outfits and an alluring, bombastic and frenzied style. Drum Pigeon, Dan Schwartz, provides nuanced and timely hitting behind the kit.

The band is adept at bringing organization through chaos via tight live shows and soon fans will be treated to a brand new album. With this information leaked to us here for the first time, the new album, Psychology, has been completed in the studio and is tagged for an anticipated late Spring '14 release. It marks the group's first album release since the 2010 Funk EP and will surely have the flock salivating in anticipation. Pigeons's performance on this night was a balanced mixture of some new material amidst some of their tried and true ditties. The important moment was not lost on the perma-grinned Ormont who exclaimed, "We are at one of the best venues on the east coast, obviously!" before the band delved into a bevy of tight grooves that were even more spacey and exploratory than your average Pigeons show. They teased the audience through a deliberate, slow-burn build up and didn't share any vocals for the first portion of the gig. One particular selection was clearly inspired by "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" and the entire performance reeked of a trippy and trancy choose-your-own-adventure novel where there is something fresh and exciting at every turn. An avid music aficionado would note the nod to 1.0 Phish throughout the Pigeons style and approach to jamming.

Some highlights from the set included the reggae-tinged rhythms during the jammy opening number, where Carrey held down the beat with his bass thrusts as well as the rarely played "Condenser." The guitar riff and piercing sustain during "Ghostbusters" supported an upbeat and fun sing along. Schon may be somewhat slight in physical stature, but on stage he takes on a monumental transformation like Charlize Theron turning into a powerhouse persona in Monster, he turns into a beast when an axe is in his hands. Ormont turned aside, "We're doing an audible and playing something you haven't heard" before unleashing a catchy and infectious new number, "Walk Outside."

To close the set, the band parlayed all their innate energy to share their most popular and well-known songs. "FU-NK" is a tightly wound love fest proving yet again to be an impetus for a complete funk danceathon through its intense noodling and tractor beam like groove. With Ormont marching in place, as he always does during the lively tune, it evolved into an extended free-form spacey jam that inspired hordes of hula-hoopers to move up closer to the action. Ormont's classy ode to a former relationship, "Julia," was the ideal poppy and fun-loving closer to the exemplary action. Ormont's intense changes to his countenance used to remind me of a rabid Sideshow Bob, but he is more of a Mad Scientist who invites one to try his enticing and euphoric Kool Aid. His natural and exciting showmanship through intense manifestations of facial expression are reminiscent of Yonder's Jeff Austin. The actual Julia, to which the song is based, was present at the performance. The sleek show left those in ear shot satiated, excited and more than a little warmed up for the Consider The Source set to follow. The impressive quartet has an exciting path ahead with limitless possibilities (they opened up for the Disco Biscuits during their NYE run in NYC) and they continue to fervently tour - so look for them at a venue near you soon!

Pigeons Set List: Whoopie, Burning Up My Time > Time To Ride, Walk Outside, Offshoot, Melting Lights, Drunk People, Ghostbusters > Condenser > The Hop > F.U., Julia


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