Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

w/Deltanine, ZDubs, and Funkbot

Dec 31, 2012

written by Joe Cariola

Well, I don’t know how you spent your New Year’s Eve, but I can safely say that you missed an amazing event at the 8×10 in Baltimore. The theme of the evening, The Motown Get Down, featured Pigeons Playing Ping Pong with DELTAnine, and Dale and the ZDubs, with Funkbot keeping us dancing between sets. Those lucky enough to attend this sold out show were truly ready to get down. The 8×10 is already a place very dear to my heart, literally a home away from home. Anyway, let’s talk about the good stuff!

Dale and the ZDubs were a pleasant surprise and the perfect way to begin the night. Their energetic sound quickly brought people to the dance floor.  The sextet performed very tightly and their sound ranged from disco to reggae to jam. They certainly paved the way for Pigeons Playing Ping Pong to take the stage. I highly recommend you check these guys out. You may be as surprised as I was. www.facebook.com/DaleandtheZDubs

The energy in the room was intoxicating when Pigeons Playing Ping Pong took the stage. In true Motown fashion, they donned white suits and pink bow ties – mighty dapper if I might say!  During the first set, Pigeons were accompanied by Patrick Rainey of The Bridge on the saxophone and Danny Davis, from Superland Stage Band on the trumpet, both sporting sharp, black suits. The addition of the brass instruments to the Motown classics were blended seamless despite only having practiced once prior to the evening.


Set 1:


Melting Lights Schwanthem*

Auld Lang Syne% –

F.U.>I Got You

Boogie On Reggae Woman**>Hold On, I’m Coming**>Boogie On**>Soul Man>Dancin’ in the Streets**
Superstition**>Shining Star**
Respect**>You Sexy Thing**>My Girl**$
Play That Funky Music**>Brick House**^


*with Final Countdown tease
%with Drunken Lullabies tease
**with Patrick Rainey and Danny Davis
$with Funk E Zekiel ending
^Totally ending

Jeremy Schon of PPPP

Melting Lights is one of my favorites. Jeremy’s guitar solo melted my face into my beer. Schwanthem is another amazing dance tune. When they broke into a Final Countown tease, the entire club cheered like mad. Played to a champagne toast at midnight, the Drunken Lullabies tease was played so slowly, many within the audience may not have recognized it. What a treat! I’m partially amazed that I spotted it myself. The tunes from Boogie On Reggae Woman through Brick House made me think of the discos from the time when funk was prominent and reminded me of a time ago when George Clinton and the Funkadelics were in their prime.

Set 2:

Drunk People>Moonwalk>Schwames Bond>Moonwalk>Pop Off
Time to Ride#>Deejam>E-Funk
Cliffs>Drunk People
Fade Fast
This Is That

E: Couldn’t We All>Use Me>Couldn’t We All


The second set was performed in true Pigeons fashion, transitioning between songs with little to no stoppage while maintaining a high level of energy. Everyone on both floors of the 8×10 was boogying down! By the end of the FU>I Got You, the crowd was in a frenzy and the energy in the room was palpable. The springs that lay under the first floor got a real workout that night! With Thomas Howard and John Olsen on lights, the show was even more captivating. It’s times like these that I find myself dancing, almost bewildered by the sensory input being processed. It brings a line from one of my favorite Grateful Dead songs to mind, “If you get confused, listen to the music play..”. Truer words could not be spoken.

Greg Ormont of PPPP

Kiwi was performed for the first time that night. It was everything you would hope for and as a musician, this is not a term I use lightly. The line “you shave my kiwi babe I’ll squeeze your limes” just shows the innuendos that were laced throughout the lyrics written during the 70s. These guys have an amazing stage presence. Not only do they interact among themselves but they have a knack for engaging the room whether it be a grin from Ben or Greg’s wild eyed stare which makes it difficult not to get drawn into their performance. I’ve been a victim of both!

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong is taking the scene by storm and I’m continually impressed with their performances. The raw talent, dedication and humor that these gentlemen possess is a beautiful combination. These boys brought the funky business and bid farewell to 2012 in a truly raging fashion. I know that 2013 will hold good things for them and if you haven’t already seen them, I highly suggest that you do! They have managed to tap into a vein of musical energy and amplify it by their own interpretation. Their music can be felt as well as heard, and you can witness them losing themselves in this flow of energy channeling through them.

Dan Schwartz of PPPP

Pigeons played until nearly 3am and then DELTAnine took the stage. Despite the extreme dance party that Pigeons laid down, this triplet kept the energy high and the crowd on their feet until the wee hours of the New Year. I will definitely say, DELTAnine has been a special find of 2012. They laid down some serious Jamtronica. Their balanced blend of live instruments and electronic will please people on both sides of the fence of the musical landscape. They definitely picked up new fans that night!

All in all, this was, by far, the best New Years Eve event I’ve attended in a long time. I left the 8×10 at 6:30am tired and hoarse, but completely satisfied. I bore the grin of a man who was completely pleased by such an epic event. Of all the places I could have gone, the 8×10 with Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, DELTAnine, and Dale and the ZDubs was the only place I wanted to be. I hope all of you have had equally stunning end of the year events and that 2013 holds fantastic things for all of you. May you all be blessed with love and light.

-Joe Cariola

All photos copyright Austin Green Photography:



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