Guy Fieri Roadshow Report: A Real-Life Drama in Three Acts
Tuesday night in Lowell, Massachusetts Guy Fieri and his "Kulinary Krew" embarked on the Guy Fieri Roadshow in what is described as "the first ever rock n' roll culinary tour." Spanning 21 cities over 30 days, this spectacle is part cooking demonstration, part concert, and the next step in Fieri's epic march towards culinary world domination. So we sent Doug Quint and Bryan Petroff, the guys behind New York City's infamous Big Gay Ice Cream Truck, to take it all in and document it for us. Here's their report:
PRELUDE - non impediti ratione cogitatonis
DOUG QUINT: Would I go to the Guy Fieri Roadshow? Sure. I didn't put Guy Fieri's name with his face until I Googled him. After discovering that he's "the diners and dives guy" I was quite pleased. I like dives; I'll eat at a place just because it looks shockingly seedy. I summed Guy Fieri up as a good-natured doofus who likes greasy-spoons, and that seemed damned OK to me.
I tried to learn a little about him before Tuesday night's concert (?) but decided to remain unenlightened. His interviews about the concert (?) made little sense to me: "It's kind of part demonstration, part rock 'n' roll, part comedy hour, it's entertainment, it's fun, it's food; it's food-centric." Guy Fieri (née Ferry), just give me a good show in Lowell. I know Lowell because I pass it every time I drive from New York to my birthstate, Maine. This is the kind of small American city that used to be someplace but now is merely a confluence of highways — making it a fitting place to launch a roadshow.
BRYAN PETROFF: The day began fittingly– we researched places he'd featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and found O'Rourke's Diner in Middletown, CT, perfectly situated at the halfway point of our road trip. Newly rebuilt after a fire, it wasn't even close to a dive. As far as diners go was one of the more upscale ones we've visited. Heavy on eggs and omelettes, only open until 3pm (except 4AM! on weekends). The food was good, worth revisiting if ever in the area. None of the fried stuff (onion rings, fish and chips, chicken cutlet) was overly greasy, though everything needed a few dashes of salt.
Was the day going to be different than expected? Dare I say, more "upscale"? If I was in for a full-blown cooking show I would've been happy. If I was in for a full-blown culture clash freakout even better! We aren't ones to shy away from kitsch, irony, low-brow, white trash, anything. We've been to monster truck rallies, group parties at Hooters. We've eaten frickles, a Fishamajig, and a pig's foot with a metal tag still on it. We were up for the challenge and actually hoping the night would freak us out. Little did we know it would end up being just a big fizzle.
SCENARIO - para bellum
DOUG: 5:12pm Bryan and I arrive in Lowell to scout the location. How pleased were we to find a tour bus parked outside the venue — a tour bus wrapped in vinyl and featuring an enormous Guy Fieri head along the flank. Putting the "kulinary gangsta" on the road takes two buses, one semi, and a larger Ryder truck. Most of the storage space must be devoted to sunglasses…
BRYAN: There were other fans there as early as we were. We helped them take photos in front of the buses and then hit the pubs. We knocked back beers at two pubs before the show, ultimately seeing everyone from those pubs in the audience. When you end up being able to pick out who you just drank next to in a sea of people, you know the crowd is way too small.