By Matt Wickstrom
Baltimore’s Pigeons Playing Ping Pong have soared onto the jam band scene, amassing a flock of fans from playing nearly 200 shows a year.
The electro funk quartet will bring their groovy guitar riffs and soulful melodies to Cosmic Charlie’s in Lexington at 10 p.m. Wednesday.
“Pigeons Playing Ping Pong is just the tip of the iceberg of what you can learn about us, and about what birds can do too, for that matter,” guitarist Greg Ormont said. “Birds can also give you the flu.”
The group formed in 2007, when Ormont and guitarist Jeremy Schon, who had known each other for about a year, were introduced to bassist Ben Carrey and drummer Alex Petropulos.
The four began playing for fun, and have since formed their own signature sound that is influenced by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phish, Lotus and the Talking Heads, among others. Since then, the band has spread its wings and performed in nearly every corner of the country.
The band also hosts its own festival, “Domefest.” The festival is planning its seventh annual go-around for 2016, and has called Trip’s Farm, in Terra Alta, W.Va., its home for the last three. Details about next year’s Domefest will be announced soon.
“We really like to soak in our surroundings and reciprocate it when we play, so when we’re in a bar, the energy is usually through the roof since so many people are packed in”, Ormont said. “We always want our energy to be consistent, whether we’re playing a bar or 1,000-person festival.”
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong are in the middle of an extensive fall tour, which has them stopping in countless cities across the eastern United States.
The band is planning a special three-night run of Halloween shows from Oct. 29 to Oct. 31 in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Raleigh, N.C. All three shows will feature the theme, “Dead Zeppelin: Moby Dick’s Picks.”
“We couldn’t be more excited to have ‘Dead Zeppelin’ as our Halloween theme for this year,” Ormont said. “Each night we’ll be mixing and intertwining music of the Grateful Dead and Led Zeppelin with our own Pigeons Playing Ping Pong originals.”
The band will be supported by SassafraZ, a funk-infused quintet from Columbus, Ohio. The show is for ages 21 and over, and tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door.