Review: Pigeons Playing Ping Pong at Beak and Skiff – Night Two

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong closed out their two-night run on Saturday night, June 19 at Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards in wet and wild style.

From atop of the hill that overlooks the valley, the skies gave off a beautiful orange, pink, and purple sunset in the distant horizon, as the storm clouds came in just over attendees’ heads, just over the stage, as the band began to play. 

From the onset of the first song through the end of the encore, Mother Nature decided this was to be a wet, windy, and cold show. But the band compensated for that in every way.

PPPP lifted the atmosphere’s temperature with an extremely consistent dance groove that kept bodies moving and spirits warm. They kicked it off with four solid originals before breaking into Deee-Lite’s “Groove Is In the Heart.” That’s when the storm unleashed a full deluge of rain from above and the band kicked it up another notch, heading into the debut of “Steal the Shade.” The irony of the lyrics to their new original (about basking in fun in the sun) was not lost on the crowd and everyone, band included, shared a great laugh about it afterward.  

As the set continued, many found shelter in the beverage tent while hardcores stayed out in front of the stage in the pouring rain. It was coming down so hard and the band was in such a groove that they decided to forgo a set break and just keep playing.

When the darkness of the skies took over, so did PPPP’s light show. The lights are very in tune with the music, highlighting beats, drops, and individual song’s climaxes. The band’s lights are very much an excellent complement to their show experience, like another member of the band helping you get lost in the ambiance of it all.

The end of the show saw PPPP work in Led Zeppelin’s “Fool in the Rain” in the middle of their “Horizon,” as a nice commentary to the evening’s vibe and weather, including reggae beats and teases of Zeppelin’s “D’yer Mak’er.” It was a perfect set-up before closing the set out with the poignant energy of the rest of “Horizon” and then, of course, “Water” as the encore.

As soon as the show ended, the water did too. The rains lasted for exactly the length of the show itself. The band stood there for a few minutes thanking everyone for sticking it out with such grand positivity and the audience thanked them right back. It was a show that won’t be forgotten any time soon by those who were there. The fans of Central New York will talk about and look forward to the day Pigeons comes back to do it all again.

Setlist, June 19, 2021 – Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards
Bad For You, Fortress, Porcupine, Penguins > Funkijam > Groove Is In the Heart > Steal the Shade*, Avalanche, Landing > Jam > Zydeko, Move Like That > Weightless > White Night, Doc, Fade Fast, Horizon > Fool In the Rain^ > Horizon
E: Water

*Original Debut
^with D’yer Mak’er teases
2.5 hour set, played through set break 

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