Review: Alton Brown Live is Quite A Treat!
On March 31, 2015, the notable Food Network star, who is known for the shows Good Eats and Cutthroat Kitchen, meandered his way to the Hawkeye State to perform at the Adler Theatre in Davenport, one of the last remaining stops on his “Alton Brown Live: The Edible Inevitable Tour.”
Before a night of musical comedy, extreme food experimentation, and a special Q&A session with the audience even began, fans with VIP tickets had the opportunity to participate in a meet-and-greet with Brown, which consisted of a brief period of conversing with the celebrity chef, getting pictures taken, and receiving autographs from him.
While audience members waited in the house of the theater for the event to start, they were entertained by clips of the famous belching and farting yeast puppets that regularly appeared on Good Eats, as well as the puppet doppelgänger of Brown.
“Good evening!” Brown announced as he suddenly emerged onstage, eliciting jovial cheers and applause from the crowd. “I have to tell you that basically what you’re about to see is two-and-a-half hours of me doing things no one will let me do on television,” he disclaimed, mainly focusing on the musical aspect of his show.
Brown’s first song, “TV Chef,” is what he described as a satirical look at his life as a celebrity chef. He informed the audience that the song was originally written as a “Johnny Cash country western anthem” but changed to a rap within the past few months. DJ Twitchy, previously known as Twitchy from the duo Itchy & Twitchy on Good Eats, accompanied donut bling-clad Brown.
The Food Network chef also admitted that in addition to performing live music, he’s not allowed to speak his mind while cameras are rolling. As an outlet, for the past fifteen years, he has kept a bulletin board he calls “A Few Things I’m Pretty Sure I’m Sure About Food” that contains sticky notes of his opinions and life lessons regarding topics within the food industry. He shared four of those items with the audience: chickens not having fingers, trout not belonging in ice cream, not leaving out salt when making bread, and not consuming shrimp cocktails from airports. He went into more detail with each item by sharing personal stories from his life, including one in song form called “Airport Shrimp Cocktail.” Brown donned a cowboy hat as he performed the country-inspired piece.
To conclude act one before an intermission, Brown presented his invention of chocolate Jet Cream, a carbonated ice cream made in ten seconds from a fire extinguisher. He invited an audience member up to help him make the cool and creamy confection, who coincidentally happened to be a firefighter.
After intermission, act two began with “Easy Bake,” which Alton Brown described as “an angry food song.” The lyrics tell the story of a young Brown wanting an Easy Bake oven for Christmas but being shunned by Santa Claus because, at the time, males weren’t accepted in the culinary world. At the end of the song, Brown presents the original Easy Bake oven that was eventually given to him by a relative. An incident involving said oven becomes the precursor to another extreme experiment involving his other invention, Mega Bake, a supersized and speedy version of his favorite childhood toy. Brown invites another audience member, who coincidentally happens to be a chef, up to the stage to help him bake a made-from-scratch pizza in three minutes using the contraption.
During the last twenty minutes, Brown answered random questions that fans tweeted him throughout the show. By the end of the night, audience members learned that Alton Brown hides vegetables in his Halloween treats, he carries nutmeg in his pocket at all times, he’s licked a considerable amount of his own blood, among other interesting facts about the celebrity chef.
The evening concluded with the acoustic “Cooking Lullaby Part 3,” one of the segments from his series about the basics of cooking that was written for his now fifteen-year-old daughter when she was a small child.
From start to finish, the evening was full of gut-busting laughs caused by Brown’s witty remarks and downright silly stories and demonstrations. Coupled with sock puppets and good, clean humor, the show had something for every member of the family. Brown was very focused on his fans and made it a point to make them a part of his performance, whether he called them onstage or responded to something they said in the crowd. He was also very passionate about the subject of food and was able to express it in a multitude of mediums besides his standard Good Eats format. If you’re a fan of Alton Brown or any of his shows, seeing him live is definitely recommended!