Editor’s note: With live music and concert reviews on hold due to COVID-19, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is focusing on how Georgia musicians are spending their time in our feature, Mic Check.
He’s known as the “Sad Clown with the Golden Voice,” an enigmatic, nearly 7-foot-tall performer whose gilded pipes come wrapped in the presentation of a whiteface clown.
Puddles Pity Party is the alter-ego of Mike Geier, whose musical stint as the singer and leader of the band Kingsized made him a well-known presence in Atlanta, where he’s lived since the mid-‘90s.
But Puddles is special. Puddles is the internationally touring, “America’s Got Talent” quarterfinalist and 2019 Caesars Palace residency artist who captivates through size, a mellifluous voice and soul-piercing eyes.
Most people became aware of Puddles in 2013, when he collaborated with Postmodern Jukebox for his version of Lorde’s “Royals,” which became a viral sensation (almost 29 million YouTube views to date).
Now, singing songs from artists ranging from David Bowie to My Chemical Romance to Lizzo in his distinctive melancholy style, Puddles is recognized worldwide.
With touring plans nixed because of coronavirus, Puddles is performing livestreams every other Saturday through July 25, each with a different set and special guest.
The livestream shows cost $10-$25 (tickets are limited for each event and can be purchased through veeps.com). A VIP meet and greet ticket — which includes a short acoustic set, an individual video interaction and a selfie via a personal screenshot with a phone — is $35 and can be purchased at onlocationlive.com.
Upcoming livestream shows will take place at 5:30 p.m. June 27, July 11 and July 25. (VIP meet and greets will be held at 2 p.m. the following day of each show.) Fans who want to request a song must email firstname.lastname@example.org at least two weeks prior to the performance date.
Since Puddles doesn’t talk, this installment of Mic Check was conducted via email. Here are his musings about life during the pandemic.
Q: How does Puddles spend quarantine time? What have you been up to these past few months?
A: Well, I wake up in the morning, and I raise my weary head. I've got an old coat for a pillow and the earth was last night's bed. Then I pour a coffee and start my day. On days that I just can't cope, I curl up on the couch and watch (Kevin) Costner movies. But there have been some productive days working on music. I've been recording some songs with friends remotely and collaborating with some pals on their projects. I've performed on Nicole Atkins' YouTube streaming show "Alone We're All Together." The Old 97's and I worked on a video together with director Liam Lynch. I also created a short video concert for the U.S. Navy to broadcast to sailors cooped up on ships.
Q: What do you miss about life the way it was?
A: I miss walking into a coffee shop and high-fiving anyone that's into it. I miss touching my face. My face and I used to be inseparable. It's remarkably difficult to social distance oneself from one's face. I also really miss cuddles. I believe you call them "hugs" here in the States. And I miss not being that concerned with all the sneezing and coughing on mass transit.
Q: Are you listening to anything in particular?
A: Being home has afforded me some time to dust off my record collection. I love the classics: Sea Shanties, Sousa Marches, Field Recordings, novelty songs of the '20s and '30s. All the hits that help put some pep in my step.
Q: What can fans expect from your livestreams?
A: I'll be singing some of my popular numbers as well as some tunes that I've never performed before a living audience. I'll play a little guitar. I'll try to play some fan requests. I'll share some quarantine tips. There will be contributing guest spots by some of my fellow musicians, magicians and maybe some of my comedian pals. Of course, there will be lots of Batdorf & Bronson coffee in each episode. Can't do nothin' without my Batdorf & Bronson! I'll be live "chatting" with fans during the show. What could go wrong?
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