Pigeons Playing Ping Pong & The Main Squeeze

Saturday April 12, 2014

Gypsy Sally’s, Washington, DC   

written by Marc Worden

photos by Germination Photography

Pigeons flew into Washington, DC, and landed under the Whitehurst Freeway at Gypsy Sally`s in Georgetown on Saturday, April 12, 2014. Notice had been given earlier in the day that tickets were selling fast and that a sellout was imminent. (Love the advance warning here) It did indeed sell out.

    The Main Squeeze was the opener, and was the perfect compliment to Pigeons Playing Ping Pong. Whoever booked that was spot on. Highlights included Max Newman on guitar; the licks he laid down were absolutely mind bending and the fact that the band had a dedicated singer in Corey Frye who could concentrate solely on his voice as his instrument seems rare in today’s music scene. It was a very pleasant surprise.

     Pigeons hit the stage with their genuinely enthusiastic presence. Their opener “Live It Up” set the tone for the night as they tell us in the song “dance to the music” and the sell-out crowd complied.

      The segue of “Burning Up My Time” > “Moonwalk” > “Melting Lights” was a highlight of the show, simply because it was a 25 minute odyssey from one song to the next showing their brilliance and skill in making it sound so effortless. This is a prime example of why Pigeons Playing Ping Pong is so interesting and genre bending.

      “Horizon” always seems to make me feel like I`m in an episode of I Dream Of Jeannie…it must be the enchanting melody. “Julia” had the crowd bouncing off the walls as if we were all one.

      I must say as a taper that I am not the one who is usually talking but at one point in the evening was asked to “Shhhhh” after a quick conversation about getting a beer, and so between songs made sure to apologize. That got me thinking about how great it is that people are so into their music that they don’t want the interruptions and distractions from the reason they are attending.  Rejoice!

      Before the encore Greg Olmont thanked the crowd for coming out and then urges the crowd to bring three people each to the 9:30 Club on July 3, and we can sell that shit out on our own. He also tells the Flock how much they are appreciated each and every day for the support they have shown over the years.

      They bring out Smiley and Corey from the Main Squeeze to join on “Superstitious,” a soulful, funk laden song. The crowd knows it’s the encore but are dancing and moving full tilt! As I listen to the recording while I am writing the review my pen can hardly stay on the page because I`m moving and grooving like I`m right back at Gypsy Sally`s on Saturday evening. “Superstitious” moves right into “Can’t We All,” and at this point in the evening that’s what we’re all doing: “Getting Along.” I love it when the song ends and the band has left the stage you can still here people singing the lyrics “Can we all just get along, just get along, just get along.” It was the perfect end to the night and the sentiment has been re-playing in my head ever since.