Puddles Pity Party is the brainchild of Mike Geier, who created the alter ego of Puddles, a giant sad clown. Geier stands at 6'8" in height, making him stand out, even if he did not choose to dress in clown makeup and a black and white clown costume when he appears as Puddles.
Geier brought his Puddles Pity Party show to Chicago's City Winery Thursday evening before a sold-out crowd.
The show opened with a video montage of Kevin Costner in various movie roles, accompanied by Costner's recording of country and Western songs. While the video played, Puddles made his way through the crowd shaking hands with nearly every audience member in the venue.
He reached the stage, slowly dragged the microphone across the set, and launched into a beautiful pitch-perfect rendition of R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts" as clips from "The Walking Dead" played on the video screen. Videos played during each of his songs, sometimes in a humorous way that contrasted with the sad material Puddles chose. At one point, he played an obviously fake audio track accompanied by a video of Richard Branson in which the billionaire appeared to implore Puddles to sing "David Bowie's Space Oddity. The singer complied.
Interpreting the music of others is the artist's specialty. He covered songs by Warren Zevon ("Desperadoes Under the Eaves"), Britney Spears ("Toxic"), and Eric Carmen ("All By Myself"), among others.
On a couple of occasions, he performed a medley as when he mashed up Ozzy Osborne's "Crazy Train" with the Police's "Message in a Bottle" and Styx's "Come Sail Away" with "Let It Go" from Disney's "Frozen." In a similar mashup, he sang the lyrics of Gilligan's Island to the tune of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven," a concept that originated with Little Roger and the Goosebumps decades ago.
Puddles managed to entertain us without saying a word. In addition to his excellent voice, he communicated through mimes and brought audience members on stage to help him perform. One man dressed in a tequila bottle costume as Puddles sang Los Lobos's "Estoy Sentado Aquí"; another woman accompanied Puddles on a cardboard guitar.
The performance was reminiscent of The Blue Man Group, which also combines physical humor with quality music.
This modern version of Pagliacci put on one of the most entertaining shows I have ever seen.