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Pigeons Playing Ping Pong
@Showtime At The Drive-In | view more info »
Oct
15

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong



Thursday Oct 15|doors 5:30 pm|all ages
Showtime At The Drive-In|get directions »
Frederick Fairgrounds
797 East Patrick Street
Frederick, MD


Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

official band site »

At a time when America seems to grow more divided by the day, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong still believes in the power of music to bring people together.

“We want to offer people an escape, a place where they can leave all their troubles and worries behind and embrace the joy of human connection," says guitarist/vocalist Greg Ormont. "Our mission with our music is to create the most blissful, carefree experience possible.”

Judging by the band’s remarkable growth, it’s a mission well accomplished. In the past two years alone, the psych-funk trailblazers have co-billed at Red Rocks, played halftime at Madison Square Garden, performed on Adult Swim’s FishCenter Live, celebrated the tenth anniversary of their beloved music festival, Domefest, and even earned their first headlining arena show. Now, they’re set to release Presto, their fifth studio album and most sophisticated collection to date. Recorded in the band’s native Baltimore, the record draws on everything from funk to rock to electronic music, building off the group’s unparalleled live energy and stretching their sonic boundaries further than ever before. Ormont breaks fresh ground with his lyrics here, too, reflecting new heights of emotional and technical maturity as he carves out a space for fans to cut loose, forget their struggles, and celebrate the present together. “Excitement is infectious,” says Ormont. “There’s nothing more rewarding than radiating the kind of positivity you want to see in the world and then watching it ripple beyond you.”

Hailed as “musical explorers” by Rolling Stone, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong—Ormont, fellow guitarist Jeremy Schon, bassist Ben Carrey, and drummer Alex “Gator” Petropulos—first took flight roughly a decade ago at the University of Maryland, and the band has since gone on to play more than a thousand shows across 44 states. Driven by a relentless work ethic and an ecstatic sound, the fun-loving four-piece built their reputation on epic, blissed-out concerts blending addictive funk grooves with psychedelic jams and intoxicating energy. Glide called them “a band that melts faces and pulls no punches,” while Relix praised the group as “joyous” and “dance-worthy,” and Jambase described them simply as a “powerhouse.” Acting as their own independent label, the quartet released four studio albums prior to Presto (including their most recent record, 2017’s widely-acclaimed Pizazz) and racked up more than twenty million streams on Spotify alone. They quickly became festival favorites, too, performing everywhere from Bonnaroo to Electric Forest to Jazz Fest and welcoming top-tier sit-ins along the way from Marcus King and Karl Denson along with members of Vulfpeck, The Revivalists, Umphrey's McGee and The String Cheese Incident among others. Fueled by their rabid fanbase, known colloquially as The Flock, the band closed out 2019 with some of their biggest headline shows yet, topping it all off with a triumphant New Year’s Eve bash at North Carolina’s ExploreAsheville.com Arena.

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong’s annual holiday shows actually played an important role in shaping the sound of Presto. Every Halloween and New Year’s Eve, the band hosts intricately themed blowouts, usually with a clever pun for a title, that find them adopting the styles of various other artists. One year, for example, it was “Red Hot Sergeant Peppers” (combining the music of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Beatles); another, it was “New Year’s stEve” (bringing together the music of Stevie Wonder, Steve Miller Band, Stevie Ray Vaughan, etc.). “Those shows have been crash courses in learning new ways to play and arrange music,” says Ormont. “We picked up different techniques from all these different genres that we were able to draw on when writing Presto.”

Writing is a never-ending process for the band, and their songs are constantly evolving organisms. Often, an extended improvisation in the group’s rehearsal space will lead to an unexpected melody or chord progression, which will go on to form the foundation of a track. Once the foursome fleshes out the song's structure and Ormont adds lyrics, the band will take the song on the road and perform it live for their most trusted confidants: The Flock.

“The crowd is like an equal member of the band at this point,” says Ormont. “We really feed off their response and truly value their input, and we can tell right away what works and what doesn't from their reaction.”

While those live shows are marathon, sprawling affairs, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong takes a more concise approach in the studio, boiling tracks down to their core essence in order to capture the most crisp, clean, and focused iterations possible. The result is a distilled dose of pure energy, the kind of pulse-pounding lightning in a bottle that absolutely explodes out of the speakers.

“We went from a lengthy tour straight into the studio to record Presto,” says Ormont, “and I think that had a big impact on the sound. We had just finished playing a lot of these songs on the road, and that experience made our performances on the album so much more confident, lively and electric.”

That fiery confidence is immediately apparent on album opener “King Kong,” which features lightspeed guitar work and funky horns anchored by a rock-solid rhythm section and wry, playful lyrics. It’s a big, bold sound that sets the stage perfectly for an album all about embracing our power to focus on the good in this world and to share it with the ones we love most. The effervescent “High As Five,” for instance, implores listeners to “lead the life you’ve always hoped for,” while the rousing “Overrun” insists “You gotta give it all, all for one / Let’s appreciate all of the times we’ve made,” and the swaggering “Snake Eyes” reminds us that “this fight is for people who want to stand up.” As carefree as the album can feel (the bilingual “Yo Soy Fiesta,” inspired by one of former NFL star Rob Gronkowski’s more iconic catchphrases, is a lighthearted highlight), it also recognizes that there can be no happiness without heartache, no joy without defeat. The psychedelic instrumental “Skipjack” descends into darkness before emerging into the light, while the jazz-tinged “Havana” wrestles with doubt and despair before a helping hand lifts it back into hope and optimism, and the breezy “Dawn A New Day” explores all the ways we can pick ourselves up when we’re feeling down and out.

"We're fortunate to have met so many people on the road who've said that our songs helped them get through a tough time in their lives,” says Ormont. “Our music has always been about looking on the sunny side of life, and it means a lot to know that we can help others do the same while having a blast and pursuing our dreams."

With an album as uplifting as Presto, the future’s looking very sunny indeed.



 
Goose
@Showtime At The Drive-In | view more info »
Oct
19

Goose



Monday Oct 19|doors 5:30 pm|all ages
Showtime At The Drive-In|get directions »
Frederick Fairgrounds
797 East Patrick Street
Frederick, MD


Goose

official band site »

Goose could be likened to a keg party in the woods on a summer night with all of your closest friends. While behind this bonfire-lit gathering, further into the forest, there is a deeper mystery awaiting those looking for it.

The quartet, based in Norwalk, CT, is comprised of Rick Mitarotonda (vocals, guitar), Peter Anspach (vocals, keyboards/guitar), Trevor Bass (bass), and Ben Atkind (drums). Goose’s music is the culmination of a rich history between friends of differing ages and experiences from the same small town in Connecticut, drawn together through a deep love of music and storytelling.

The band returned to the studio in 2019 for the first time since the 2016 debut LP, moon cabin, releasing two singles, “all i need” and “time to flee”?. Mastered by Grammy Award winner, Emily Lazar, the singles exhibit a developed live band showcasing their studio voice. Following breakout performances at resonance music & arts festival, domefest, summer camp music festival and the peach music festival; the Goose is loose.



 
Grace Potter
@Showtime At The Drive-In | view more info »
Oct
21

Grace Potter



Wednesday Oct 21|doors 6:00 pm|all ages
Showtime At The Drive-In|get directions »
Frederick Fairgrounds
797 East Patrick Street
Frederick, MD


Grace Potter

official band site »

Described by Spin as “one of the greatest living voices in rock today,” Grace Potter has not only played every major music festival from Coachella and Lollapalooza to Bonnaroo and Rock in Rio, she’s created her own thriving music festival, Burlington, VT’s Grand Point North. Additionally, she’s shared a stage with artists such as The Rolling Stones, Willie Nelson, Robert Plant, the Allman Brothers, Neil Young, Jackson Browne, Mavis Staples, and The Roots to name just a few. Potter has also collaborated with the Flaming Lips for a Tim Burton film, written and produced music for film and TV and recorded two GRAMMY-nominated, multiplatinum singles with her friend Kenny Chesney.

In October 2019, Grace released Daylight, her second solo LP and first for Fantasy Records. Daylight arrives after a turbulent, life-altering 4-year hiatus from music that had the acclaimed singer-songwriter contemplating whether she would ever record another album. Cathartic and emotionally raw, Daylight is the result of that arduous journey, the most emotionally revealing, musically daring work of her career.

“I’ve always aimed to write songs from a universal perspective; so that anyone who heard my music could relate, but that actually made it harder for me to take ownership of my own perspective. These songs were written so I could process – and be accountable for – my own life experience,” Potter says. “I had just pulled the ripcord on my whole life. It was an incredibly jarring, private experience. When the dust settled a bit, the last thing I wanted to do was tell the whole world about it through song. It was a very gradual process of re-framing music and its purpose in my life. So, when I finally started writing songs again - it had to be for myself and myself alone.”

Produced by her husband Eric Valentine, Daylight took shape in the Topanga Canyon home they’d recently settled into. Unsigned and entirely free of any pressure to appease, Potter slowly carved out ideas and the two began laying down tracks. Moving to Valentine’s Hollywood studio, Barefoot Recording, the songs came to life with the help of longtime Potter collaborators including guitarist Benny Yurco and drummer Matt Musty, friends Benmont Tench and Larry Goldings on keys and supreme vocalists, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of the indie band Lucius.



 
Dark Star Orchestra
@Showtime At The Drive-In | view more info »
Oct
30

Dark Star Orchestra



Friday Oct 30|doors 5:30 pm|all ages
Showtime At The Drive-In|get directions »
Frederick Fairgrounds
797 East Patrick Street
Frederick, MD


Dark Star Orchestra

official band site »

Performing to critical acclaim for over 20 years and over 2800 shows, Dark Star Orchestra continues the Grateful Dead live concert experience. Their shows are built off the Dead's extensive catalog and the talent of these seven fine musicians. On any given night, the band will perform a show based on a set list from the Grateful Dead's 30 years of extensive touring or use their catalog to program a unique set list for the show. This allows fans both young and old to share in the experience. By recreating set lists from the past, and by developing their own sets of Dead songs, Dark Star Orchestra offers a continually evolving artistic outlet within this musical canon. Honoring both the band and the fans, Dark Star Orchestra's members seek out the unique style and sound of each era while simultaneously offering their own informed improvisations.

Dark Star Orchestra offers much more than the sound of the Grateful Dead, they truly encapsulate the energy and the experience. It's about a sense of familiarity. It's about a feeling that grabs listeners and takes over. It's about that contagious energy...in short, it's about the complete experience and consistent quality show that the fan receives when attending a Dark Star Orchestra show.

Dark Star Orchestra has performed throughout the entire United States, including a sold out debut at Colorado’s Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater, plus shows in Europe and the Caribbean with the band touching down in seven different countries. DSO continues to grow its fan base by playing at larger venues for two and even three-night stands, as well as performing at major music festivals including Bonnaroo, Milwaukee's SummerFest, The Peach Music Festival, Jam Cruise, Wanee Festival, SweetWater 420 Festival, Mountain Jam, and many more.

In addition to appearing at some of the nation's top festival, Dark Star Orchestra hosts its own annual music festival and campaign gathering, titled the "Dark Star Jubilee", currently in its eighth year where DSO headline all three nights and are joined by a mix of established and up and coming national touring acts. Beyond the shores of the United States, DSO has taken its internationally-acclaimed Grateful Dead tribute to the beaches of Jamaica in the dead of winter for the past six years, with their event appropriately titled 'Jam in the Sand'. Featuring an ocean-side stage, DSO sets up camp to perform shows for four nights along the tropical sands of an all-inclusive resort, selling out the event each year for hundreds of lucky attendees.

Fans and critics haven't been the only people caught up in the spirit of a Dark Star show. The band has featured guest performances from six original Grateful Dead members Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay, Vince Welnick, Tom Constanten and even toured with longtime Dead soundman, Dan Healy. Other notable guests have included Mike Gordon and Jon Fishman of Phish, Keller Williams, Warren Haynes, Steve Kimock, Peter Rowan, Ramblin' Jack Elliot and many more.

"For us it's a chance to recreate some of the magic that was created for us over the years," keyboardist and vocalist Rob Barraco explains. "We offer a sort of a historical perspective at what it might have been like to go to a show in 1985, 1978 or whenever. Even for Deadheads who can say they've been to a hundred shows in the 90s, we offer something they never got to see live."



 
Dark Star Orchestra
@Showtime At The Drive-In | view more info »
Oct
31

Dark Star Orchestra



Saturday Oct 31|doors 5:30 pm|all ages
Showtime At The Drive-In|get directions »
Frederick Fairgrounds
797 East Patrick Street
Frederick, MD


Dark Star Orchestra

official band site »

Performing to critical acclaim for over 20 years and over 2800 shows, Dark Star Orchestra continues the Grateful Dead live concert experience. Their shows are built off the Dead's extensive catalog and the talent of these seven fine musicians. On any given night, the band will perform a show based on a set list from the Grateful Dead's 30 years of extensive touring or use their catalog to program a unique set list for the show. This allows fans both young and old to share in the experience. By recreating set lists from the past, and by developing their own sets of Dead songs, Dark Star Orchestra offers a continually evolving artistic outlet within this musical canon. Honoring both the band and the fans, Dark Star Orchestra's members seek out the unique style and sound of each era while simultaneously offering their own informed improvisations.

Dark Star Orchestra offers much more than the sound of the Grateful Dead, they truly encapsulate the energy and the experience. It's about a sense of familiarity. It's about a feeling that grabs listeners and takes over. It's about that contagious energy...in short, it's about the complete experience and consistent quality show that the fan receives when attending a Dark Star Orchestra show.

Dark Star Orchestra has performed throughout the entire United States, including a sold out debut at Colorado’s Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater, plus shows in Europe and the Caribbean with the band touching down in seven different countries. DSO continues to grow its fan base by playing at larger venues for two and even three-night stands, as well as performing at major music festivals including Bonnaroo, Milwaukee's SummerFest, The Peach Music Festival, Jam Cruise, Wanee Festival, SweetWater 420 Festival, Mountain Jam, and many more.

In addition to appearing at some of the nation's top festival, Dark Star Orchestra hosts its own annual music festival and campaign gathering, titled the "Dark Star Jubilee", currently in its eighth year where DSO headline all three nights and are joined by a mix of established and up and coming national touring acts. Beyond the shores of the United States, DSO has taken its internationally-acclaimed Grateful Dead tribute to the beaches of Jamaica in the dead of winter for the past six years, with their event appropriately titled 'Jam in the Sand'. Featuring an ocean-side stage, DSO sets up camp to perform shows for four nights along the tropical sands of an all-inclusive resort, selling out the event each year for hundreds of lucky attendees.

Fans and critics haven't been the only people caught up in the spirit of a Dark Star show. The band has featured guest performances from six original Grateful Dead members Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay, Vince Welnick, Tom Constanten and even toured with longtime Dead soundman, Dan Healy. Other notable guests have included Mike Gordon and Jon Fishman of Phish, Keller Williams, Warren Haynes, Steve Kimock, Peter Rowan, Ramblin' Jack Elliot and many more.

"For us it's a chance to recreate some of the magic that was created for us over the years," keyboardist and vocalist Rob Barraco explains. "We offer a sort of a historical perspective at what it might have been like to go to a show in 1985, 1978 or whenever. Even for Deadheads who can say they've been to a hundred shows in the 90s, we offer something they never got to see live."