Review by Matt Wickstrom
Photos by Tom Wickstrom
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong descended upon Columbus, Ohio, Friday night for one funked up night of music. The psychedelic funk quartet were accompanied by special guests Pimps of Joytime for their show at Park Street Saloon in the heart of Columbus’ lively Arena District.
Pimps of Joytime, a versatile funk quintet from Brooklyn opened up the show with their raw mix of funk, soul, and hip-hop. The group began by paying homage to their hometown with “Funky Brooklyn” before breaking into “Heart is Wild”, which features freestyling lyrics radiating with the swagger of front man Brian J.
The remainder of the set saw a vast blend of old and new cuts from the Pimps of Joytime cloth, including a plethora of hits off the band’s latest album, titled “Jukestone Paradise”. “Danky Janky” led off a string of tunes off the album, which also included Jump Off”, “Dance Cardia” and “Body Party”. An aged tune, “Street Sound”, featuring a simple but catchy drumline accompanied with beautiful backup vocals followed.
A surprise ensued, as Pimps of Joytime whipped out a new song, called “Jack Stackin'”, which features exceptionally crafted lyrics by Brian J that rhyme, twist, and turn with every word. After the new track, the group turned to one of their staples, and arguably their most popular song, “Janxta Funk”. “Keep that Music Playin'” and “Zydeco” closed out the Pimps opening set, handing the reigns over to Pigeons Playing Ping Pong for the remainder of the night.
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong came out of the gates firing, opening up their set with “Ocean Flows”, a signature Pigeons song featuring masterful riffs from guitarist Jeremy Schon, who manages to make even the most advanced sequences of notes seem effortless. “Burnin Up My Time” followed, kicking off an epic continuous string of songs, which included “Melting Lights”>”Offshoot”, “Landing”>”Jam”> and ended with a mash-up of “Funky Town” and “Brickhouse”, by Lipps Inc. and The Commodores, respectively. The sequence left the near capacity crowd going bonkers and demanding more funk.
Succeeding the lengthy jam was “Porcupine”, which was followed by another combo of “Spacejam”>”The Hop”>”F.U.”>”I Got You”. For “F.U.” and “I Got You”, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong welcomed saxophonist Jack Gould from Columbus band SassafraZ to the stage. Gould and SassafraZ opened two nights prior for Pigeons at Cosmic Charlie’s in Lexington, Kentucky.
A “Horizon”>”J-Town” coupling followed, with Gould again sitting in for “J-Town” and “Walk Outside” which followed to close out the set. Pigeons returned to the stage and performed “Julia” for their encore. The song features a rather laid back, but welcoming beat, and catchy lyrics about young love. The song also featured a tease of the theme song for the classic Nintendo character Mario.
Full setlists from Friday’s show, along with a photo review, can be found below.
Pimps of Joytime:
Heart is Wild
Keep that Music Playin’
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong:
Burning Up My Time > Melting Lights > Offshoot
Landing > Jam > Funky House
Spacejam > The Hop > F.U.* > I Got You*