The Baltimore-based quartet debuted many new songs over the past few years, both originals and covers. This edition of the JamBase List uses the JBLVA to point out five Pigeons Playing Ping Pong live debuts from 2016 – 2019 with a focus on originals. Check out the five debuts below and be sure to dig in to the full and ever-growing catalog of Pigeons Playing Ping Pong live videos on the JBLVA.
Fortress | October 9, 2016
Earlier this year, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong released a new studio album entitled Presto. The 11-track LP contains many road-tested tunes including “Fortress” and two other songs featured on this list. Seemingly influenced by Paul Simon, PPPP presented the live debut of “Fortress” back on October 9, 2016 at Venue 578 in Orlando, Florida. Sixty-one additional versions have followed over the past four years as per PT PPPP.
Speaking of Presto, the band first previewed the LP last November by sharing “Dawn A New Day” as its lead single. “Dawn A New Day” dates back a few years with Pigeons Playing Ping Pong delivering its live debut on October 19, 2017 at The Independent in San Francisco. PPPP unveiled the tune early in their first set and “Dawn A New Day” has been a staple of their shows ever since.
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong’s New Year’s Eve concerts are known for the memorable themes the band uses to guide their setlists. For instance, PPPP presented “The Electric Kool-Aid Asheville Test” on December 31, 2019, which featured a handful of cover debuts including takes on Jimi Hendrix’s “Crosstown Traffic,” Kool & The Gang’s “Jungle Boogie,” a mashup of “All Along The Watchtower” and “Evil Woman” and more. Yet, it’s Pigeons Playing Ping Pong’s DisNYE performance from December 31, 2017 containing a number of songs from Disney films that stands among the band’s most memorable year-end celebrations.
The four-piece expertly worked songs from such movies as Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Jungle Book and Moana with originals to create a masterful concert at the Madison Theater in Covington, Kentucky. Many of the covers debuted on December 31, 2017 have stuck in the repertoire including “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King.” Elton John and Tim Rice penned “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” for the 1994 Disney film The Lion King. Pigeons ended their first of two DisNYE sets by debuting their take on the song and have performed “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” 11 more times since.
In 2012, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski infamously responded “Yo Soy Fiesta” during a post-game interview with a reporter from ESPN Deportes. The phrase translates to “I Am Party” in English and Pigeons used Gronk’s quip as the title of a song featured on Presto. Pigeons Playing Ping Pong debuted “Yo Soy Fiesta” during a hometown show at Baltimore’s Rams Head Live on November 24, 2018. The band has gone on to perform the song nearly 40 times since its initial play.
“Lowdown” is one of the most recent additions to Pigeons Playing Ping Pong’s repertoire. The four-piece unveiled the song during an intimate performance at Denver’s Globe Hall on November 17, 2019. Pigeons’ show for VIPs at the 200-capacity Globe Hall came on the heels of a two-night stand at the much larger Ogden Theater. “Lowdown” quickly caught on in the band’s catalog, as 12 versions have followed over the past nine months.