First Friday Review: Droops Showcase at The Pioneer

Photo by Paul Taylor

It was just after ten o’clock when I walked into The Pioneer. I’d just finished listening to the free concert at The Hi-Fi. I was still riding off of Public’s great set, and was hopeful that The bands playing at The Pioneer would be just as good.

Droops Showcase

As an added bonus to the night, Droops, a local Indianapolis art collective, was displaying a showcase of work on the walls inside The Pioneer. The place wasn’t very crowded. Several small groups wandered from canvas to canvas to admire the art. I walked around, took a look at several, and then found a table in the corner. The art was nice, but I was here for the music.

Opening Act: Joey Joey Michaels

I was surprised when the opening act didn’t take the stage until nearly eleven. I’d been under the impression that the show was to start at ten, and became fairly annoyed sitting there for almost an hour. In retrospect, I’m guessing that the hour of silence was so that people could walk around and admire the art. To me, it seemed like the growing crowd was only waiting for the music to start.

When Joey Joey Michaels and his band finally got up to play, they were all wearing matching white suits. A nice touch, but I hoped that wasn’t the reason they kept everyone waiting. As they played, I noticed the band had an interesting lineup with two lead singers. One would wail falsetto vocals, before passing it off to Michaels’ lower bass. As they continued to play, it seemed like the two vocalists were almost competing with one another over who had the better stage presence. At one point the falsetto guy took his shirt off. It was that kind of show.

Paul Cherry

An hour later, Paul Cherry took the stage with his five-piece band. They played a good selection of pop and rock. Cherry’s voice came in through a filter that gave his vocals a thin, wavering, effect. There was little showmanship during Cherry’s performance. The focus was on the music where it should be. It wasn’t until Paul Cherry started playing that I stopped regretting my decision to cover the show. They were worth the hour of waiting before the show started, and the opening acts’ peacock-ish performance. I’d gladly go again, but next time I think I’ll show up fashionably late.


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