Can you guess what will be seen in the Crystal Bay Casino on Wednesday for the first time?
A – Dogs at a Poker Table
B – Cats Seated at Slot Machines
C – Pigeons Playing Ping Pong
The answer is C. Pigeons Playing Ping Pong is a self-described high-energy psychedelic funk band from Baltimore on its first West Coast Tour.
The band started as a duo with guitarists Jeremy Schon and Greg Ormont at the Cumberland Hall Dorms in College Park, Maryland.
Schon and Ormont took a beginning psychology class and the curriculum included B.F. Skinner’s experiment with pigeons playing ping pong. When one of the birds scored a point, it would receive kernels of food. Schon said they knew in an instant that would be their band’s name.
“It’s a name that catches people’s attention and it has alliteration,” Schon told Tahoe Onstage by cell phone as the band traveled from Oregon toward Crystal Bay. Now a quartet, the band includes bassist Ben Carrey and drummer Alex Petropulos.
“This is our first trip to the real West Coast and it’s been awesome so far,” he said. “We wanted to wait until time was right to explore uncharted territories, and it’s been awesome to play for new people every night and we’re definitely looking forward to playing the Crystal Bay Casino.”
Schon said the band was encouraged to visit the West Coast by Facebook fans. North Shore resident Patrick Meagher, who used to live in Maryland where Pigeons Playing Ping Pong performed at the 8 X 10 in Baltimore, encouraged the band members to try to book Crystal Bay.
“I’m pumped they are stopping in Tahoe,” Meagher said in a Facebook message. “It’s been cool to seeing them grow from a band playing in small bars to now playing major music festivals and selling out big venues back East.”
Opening for Pigeons Playing Ping Pong will be another funk band with a funny name: Organ Freeman, a trio from Los Angeles.
- Pigeons Playing Ping Pong
Openers: Organ Freeman
When: 10 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15
Where: Crystal Bay Casino Red Room