Puddles Pity Party melts hearts at the Plaza Live

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We get it – people are afraid of clowns. From Stephen King's It to last fall's epidemic of creepy clowns luring children into the woods, there are plenty of reasons to fear adults in whiteface. But people aren't afraid of mimes, the clown's speechless cousin; they just hate them. We think that's splitting hairs, but maybe it's contributed to the success of Puddles Pity Party. Puddles is a gloomy clown who never talks, but sings cover songs in a melancholy baritone. His first big hit was a viral YouTube cover of Lorde's "Royals," but he's at his best when he turns an upbeat party anthem on its head – his version of Blink 182's "All the Small Things" is a great example. A typical cover band seeks to please the audience by echoing the familiar, but when Puddles covers a song we get the sense that he is singing it out of an emotional need to connect with the listener – and the result often sounds entirely different than the original. Puddles takes a lot of songs churned out by pop hit machines and gives them heart, even though his own happens to be perpetually broken. This clown seems more afraid of his audience than they could ever be of him, and that's a refreshing twist in a society that's so oddly rattled by street performers.

8 p.m. Saturday, July 15 | The Plaza Live, 425 N. Bumby Ave. | 407-228-1220 | plazaliveorlando.org | $29.50-$39.50


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