After 20 years because the DTE Power Music Theatre, the Detroit space’s main amphitheater will as soon as once more be identified by its unique identify, the Pine Knob Music Theatre.

The identify change is a part of the 15,000-seat venue’s fiftieth anniversary celebration that can happen this summer time. A brand new emblem incorporates components of its 1972-2000 predecessor, and in lieu of a title sponsor, two native companies — United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) and Trinity Well being — have signed on as companions.

“The fairness within the Pine Knob identify is simple, and it was simply so apparent,” says Howard Handler, president of Detroit’s 313 Presents, which promotes and produces concert events on the venue. “Night time after night time, performers come on stage and say ‘Good day Pine Knob!’ We all know that there was quite a lot of ardour and quite a lot of actually nice connection to all of that, so it was only a query of may we strike the correct stability and ship one thing significant again to the neighborhood and be true to our enterprise.”

Pine Knob was opened by the Nederlander Group on June 25, 1972 with a matinee live performance by David Cassidy. Since then it’s hosted greater than 3,100 occasions, successful quite a few trade awards from Billboard and others alongside the best way. The venue was bought throughout late 1990 by Palace Sports activities & Leisure (now Pistons Sports activities & Leisure), which joined 313 Presents as a three way partnership with Ilitch Sports activities + Leisure throughout 2017.

The DTE identify change was introduced throughout January of 2001 and induced appreciable furor amongst followers and performers. All through the following 20 years quite a few artists protested from the stage, many persevering with to confer with the venue as Pine Knob throughout their concert events. “It’ll all the time be Pine Knob to me,” mentioned James Pankow of Chicago, whose 81 exhibits are probably the most of any act on the venue. “It’s all the time a pleasure to come back again there ’trigger we all know we’re doing to get a terrific crowd.” Jimmy Buffett, one other venue common, famous that, “They modify the identify of all of (the venues). I’m sorry, however I don’t name ’em by these names. I name them what they’re to me. It pisses folks off.”

Peter Frampton, who recorded his Reside in Detroit album and DVD throughout 1999 at Pine Knob, was thrilled to listen to of the most recent identify change, noting that, “It’s all the time been Pine Knob to me. I all the time name it that from the stage. I’m actually pleased Pine Knob’s true identification has lastly been returned.” Ed Robertson of Barenaked Women, which recorded its 2007 set Speak to the Hand: Reside in Michigan, on the theater, was amongst these consulted by 313 Presents concerning the rebranding and was equally happy by the change.

Pine Knob Music Theater
Courtesy Picture

“We by no means referred to it as the rest however Pine Knob,” Robertson mentioned. “As a BNL stronghold and longtime type of house away from house, it brings me an infinite quantity of pleasure that Pine Knob is being restored to its rightful identify.”

Handler, who labored as a Pine Knob safety guard throughout the summer time of 1978, got here to 313 Presents throughout 2019 and mentioned consideration of the amphitheater’s identify change started in earnest throughout the 2020 pandemic pause. “We talked to a number of hundred visitors and stakeholders and even some artists,” he mentioned. “It wasn’t simply, ‘Oh, cool, let’s do that.’ This (change) is the results of a number of months of labor and analysis and inventive growth and listening to folks.” One major concern, {that a} sure section of the viewers wouldn’t pay attention to the heritage within the Pine Knob identify, was rapidly allayed throughout that course of, he added.

“We questioned, ‘OK, with folks between the ages of 18-24, is (Pine Knob) one thing which means something to them in any respect?’” Handler mentioned. “And once we did the analysis, the reply to that was sure, it did. Folks knew what it was — possibly from their older siblings or their mother and father, or from sitting within the viewers and Dave Matthews comes on stage and says, ‘Good day Pine Knob!’” The 13.5-acre venue, in truth, sits subsequent to the Pine Knob Ski & Snowboard Resort, and a number of other companies within the space additionally embody Pine Knob of their identify.

UWM and Trinity, in the meantime, have been on board with Pine Knob taking priority within the venue identify. “Similar to the followers, similar to the artists, they’re like, ‘Properly, yeah, it’s Pine Knob,’” Handler famous. “On the finish of the day I feel they acknowledged that in the event that they have been tapping into the real connection that the neighborhood has with the venue and the heritage of it and the individuality of it, they’ll profit from that otherwise.”

In the course of the shortened 2021 season, the DTE Power Music Theatre hosted 25 exhibits with a reported attendance of practically 265,000. The venue additionally hosted a pair of drive-through sights — Jurassic World throughout the early summer time and the holiday-themed Magic of Lights 2021 — in its car parking zone. Pine Knob at the moment has 16 concert events booked for the 2022 season, and Handler mentioned 313 Presents is planning a collection of particular fiftieth anniversary packages that he hopes will likely be introduced within the close to future.

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