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Published: 2017/04/12
by Peter Jurew

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong at Brooklyn Bowl

Photos by Lou Montesano

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong got their name from a Psych 101 class at the University of Maryland where Greg Ormont and Jeremy Schon met their freshman year. The boys were so taken by behaviorist B.F. Skinner’s famous 1950 experiment that they decided then and there to name their band after it. They’ve been at it ever since, building a loyal fan base — “the Flock” — in their nine years on the club and festival circuit. Ormont is out front on vocals with Schon adding slick guitar work and bassman Ben Carrey keeping things steady, but any band of Maryland boys trying to make it big playing electro-funk grooves better have a drummer able to bring the thunder. Fortunately, Alex Petropoulos is up to the challenge, able to go toe to toe with today’s top rhythm aces.

Packing Brooklyn Bowl for two nights over April Fool’s weekend, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong rocked the house with their energetic jams and over-the-top antics, some of which were beyond this listener but went down well with the youthful fans on hand. As the band matures, the music might benefit from a little more structure and nuance, but as live performers Ormont and Schon certainly connected with their audience. Fans of funky jams, regardless of age, will enjoy the good-time vibes capable of making us all feel like our college days weren’t so long ago.

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