Pigeons Playing Ping Pong
By Alex Jones
The sun had already begun to set as Bunbury festival goers gathered in droves to see Pigeons Playing Ping Pong perform at the CVG River Stage on night 1 a whole hour before the performance. Head banging and heavy guitar rifts echoed in the background as a performance from Bayside was coming to a close. The noise settled, fans rushed over to the CVG stage, and “Pigeons” walked on stage.
Their lead singer Greg Ormont was dressed in what can only be described as something you would wear to bed, but their performance was anything but sluggish and tired.
This psychedelic funk rock group made their performance feel like a garage band jam session in the best way possible. Long solos between the occasional vocal allowed for all members to show off their skills at least once a song. Their funk jam band style, and their on-stage energy made it so nobody in the crowd was left standing still. Pigeons Playing Ping Pong simply looked like they were having the time of their life on stage; it felt as though bassist Ben Carrey had a smile on his face the entire set.
The band’s wacky, and infectious energy was something I’ve seen in very few live performances. Lead singer Greg Ormont was constantly jumping up and down, running across the stage, and acting a fool all while playing guitar strictly on the neck of the instrument.
My personal favorite song from their set was “Kiwi.” “Kiwi” is a great example of when a band is able to create a love song that sounds like anything but. One of the opening lines of the song serves as a perfect example of how well this band mixes lyricism with great instrumentals. “And I try to recognize that the look that’s in your eye casts a lie between the truth and the way you fill my mind” is a really powerful line; when you mix it with powerful drums from Alex Petropulos, and tantalizing cords from lead guitarist Jeremy Schon you have yourself a very powerful song that you can’t help but move to.
Other great songs from the performance include “Porcupine” “Somethin For Ya” and “The Liquid.”
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong has a handful of performances left this summer from California to Pennsylvania and in between. Their songs are powerful, and they make you move. I highly suggest going out of your way to see one of the best acts of Bunbury 2019 when you get a chance.
Photographs by Michael Deinlein