Pigeons Playing Ping Pong Perform ‘Arena 54’ New Year’s Eve Concert In Asheville

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong Perform ‘Arena 54’ New Year’s Eve Concert In Asheville

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong presided over their “Arena 54” New Year’s Eve concert at the ExploreAsheville.com Arena in Asheville, North Carolina on Friday. PPPP took the Asheville audience on a cosmic voyage through disco and funk classics and welcomed Keller Williams, Here Come the Mummies horns and more.

PPPP kicked off the space/disco-themed show with “Distant Time” before heading into “Too Long” on which the band welcomed the Here Come The Mummies horns who stayed on for a cover of the Bee Gees “You Should Be Dancing” and a return to “Too Long.” Pigeons went it alone for Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” and a debut of Elton John’s “Rocket Man” done in reggae style. The quartet bookended the seamless set opening segment by finishing up “Distant Times.”

The Mummies honrs returned to help PPPP out on the staple “King Kong” before Will Foster and Palmer Owens from opening band Funk You joined on percussion for the Pigeons classic “Funk E Zekiel” which kicked off another trip through the disco era with debuts of Vicki Sue Robinson’s “Turn the Beat Around” and Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Boogie Wonderland” before finishing up “Funk E Zekiel.”

While Owens and Foster departed, the horns stayed on for new PPPP tune “Let The Boogie Out” seeing action for just the third time since its debut in Denver. More EW&F followed with “Let’s Groove” before the band unveiled Jamiroquai’s “Cosmic Girl” with elements of Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up” and a call back to “Let’s Groove.” The Mummies horns departed after a reprise of “Let The Boogie Out” and PPPP went it alone for the set closing segment of “Ocean Flows” which encompassed The Police’s “Walking On The Moon.”

Pigeons staples “Poseidon” and “Burning Up My Time” launched the second set with the latter containing a “Third Stone From The Sun” tease by Jimi Hendrix as well as the New Year’s countdown. The festivities featured the traditional “Auld Lang Syne” into an instrumental version of David Bowie’s “Starman” as an “alien invasion” took place with opener Keller Williams joining as the “alien overlord.” The Mummies horns and Funk You percussionists along with Funk You horn players Gnarly G and Josh Spilliards joined in once again to help PPPP bust out “Kung Fu Fighting,” last time played on July 7, 2018, as per Phantasy Tour. The collaborators stuck around for the Village People’s “Macho Man.”

Next, Piegons — with the Mummies horns jumping in here and there — ran through a number of funk and disco tunes including Parliament’s “Unfunky UFO,” Chic’s “Le Freak” Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love,” Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” and more. Keller joined in for “Lighting” as well as “Le Freak.” The quartet closed out the cover heavy second set with an original, “Schwanthem.” Pigeons Playing Ping Pong returned to the stage with the Mummies horns to encore with another original, “Doc,” to bring the evening to a close.

Watch pro-shot, full-show video below:

Setlist (via PPPP Facebook)

Set One: Distant Times > Too Long* > You Should Be Dancing^* > Too Long* > Shine On You Crazy Diamond” > Rocket Man^ > Distant Times, King Kong*, Funk E Zekiel*# > Turn The Beat Around^*# > Boogie Wonderland^*#” > Funk E Zekiel*#, Let The Boogie Out* > Let’s Groove*^” > Cosmic Girl*^$ > Let The Boogie Out*, Ocean Flows > Walking On The Moon^ > Ocean Flows

Set Two: Poseidon, Burning Up My Time& > Auld Lang Syne+ > Starman^+= > Auld Lang Syne+ > Kung Fu Fighting+*#!% > Macho Man^+*#!% > Kung Fu Fighting+*#!% > Unfunky UFO^+*%, That’s The Mashup^*+ > Lightning*% > Le Freak*% > Lightning*%, Julia > I Feel Love^% > Julia, X-Files+ > The Hop > F.U.*+ > Good Times^*+ > Rapper’s Delight^*+% > Good Times*+ > F.U.*+ > Y.M.C.A.^*+ > Schwanthem

Encore: Doc*


  • * w/ Here Come the Mummies horns
  • ^ First time played
  • ” Intro only
  • # w/ Will Foster & Palmer Owens (Funk You) on percussion
  • $ w/ Move On Up^ and Let’s Groove teases
  • & w/ Third Stone From The Sun tease; Countdown to NYE
  • + w/ Alien invasion; Midnight feat. Keller Williams as alien overlord; Good Times feat. alien soul train
  • = Instrumental
  • ! w/ Gnarly G & Josh Spilliards (Funk You) on horns
  • % w/ Keller Williams; Lightning feat. mouth trumpet battle
  • That’s The Way, Shake Shake Shake, Give It To Me Baby, Ring My Bell, Boogie Nights mashup