Pine Knob is back as storied Michigan venue changes name again

The wishes of metro area music fans and international performers are going to be realized this summer.

They’ll be going to the Pine Knob Music Theatre once again.

The venerable amphitheater, one of the country’s oldest and most successful, changed its name to the DTE Energy Music Theatre in 2000 amidst considerable furor — and artists who continued to refer to it as Pine Knob during the next 20 years. Now 313 Presents, which promotes and produces events at the 15,000-seat theater, is reinstalling the Pine Knob name, with a new logo and United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) and Trinity Health joining as primary sponsors.

“Congratulations, Detroit! I am really happy Pine Knob’s true identity has finally been returned,” says Peter Frampton, who recorded his 2000 “Live in Detroit” album and DVD at the venue. “It’s always been Pine Knob to me. I always call it that from the stage.” “It’s always been Pine Knob to me,” adds James Pankow of Chicago, whose 81 shows are the most by any act at the venue. “It’s tradition.”

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Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies, which recorded 2007’s “Talk to the Hand: Live in Michigan” at (then) DTE, was among those consulted about the rebranding and says “it brings me an enormous amount of Joy that Pine Knob is being restored to its rightful name. We never referred to it as anything else but Pine Knob.”

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313 Presents President Howard Handler, who worked as a Ranger (security guard) at Pine Knob during the summer of 2018, says discussions about the name return began in earnest during 2020, while concerts were largely suspended due to the pandemic. “We talked to several hundred guests and stakeholders and even some artists,” Handler says. “It wasn’t just, ‘Oh, cool, let’s do this.’ This (change) is the result of several months of work and research and creative development and listening to people.

“The equity in the Pine Knob name is undeniable, and it was just so obvious. Night after night, performers come on stage and say ‘Hello Pine Knob!’ We know that there was a lot of passion and a lot of really great connection to all of that, so it was just a question of could we strike the right balance and deliver something meaningful back to the community and be true to our business …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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