Over the last couple of days the DTE energy music theater has been teasing an announcement that they would be making on January 14th. Many speculated that this would be a concert announcement for the upcoming 2022 season. That ended up not being the case, as they have officially announced that with a partnership with Trinity Health and United Wholesale Mortgage they’re changing the name of the venue back to Pine Knob Music Theatre. Pine Knob is synonymous with regular concerts such as Bob Seger, a season opening show with Eddie Money, the home away from home for the J. Geils bBand, and so many more concerts and festivals.

But there’s a few things about this name change that irks me. For the longest time I called DTE Energy Music Theater Pine Knob. In fact I know I wasn’t the only one, and people would stubbornly talk about it saying “I don’t care what they call it it’s still Pine Knob”. But after a while things that were once special about the original venue were slowly phased out and, to me at least, I had to stop calling it something it wasn’t. Not just in name, but in theory. Allow me to explain:

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Leave Well Enough Alone

Back in 2003 I went to Mayhem Festval and it was one of the funnest concerts I’ve ever been to. It wasn’t necessarily because who was playing, but the good times we had between major musicians. We spent a lot of time playing Hakki sack and we even invented a game called rock in a cup. Basically we set a big plastic cup against a tree and sat about 25 feet away, away from anybody, and just minded our own business trying to throw a rock in a cup. We tried this again later in 2009 and we were asked to stop playing because it was dangerous and they made us go to our seats. Dangerous to who, insects? That was strike one.

An Arm and A Leg

Why is it that when a venue finally has a corporate sponsor for some reason it’s now charging an arm and a leg for everything. I’m sorry but $18 for a beer and over $20 for watered down cocktail or frozen margarita is just ridiculous. You’re already paying for parking and fees for the ticket to get in. Those prices do not have to be like that. Oh you want to bring in a lawn chair and a cooler to enjoy the concert on the hill? Sorry you can’t do that, but you can rent one from them for even more money. That’s strike two.

Loosen up

I’m in no way advocating for people to do this, but kicking people out for smoking marijuana and relaxing to the music is ridiculous, all while over serving people alcohol, leading to drunk driving and fights. Now, driving stoned isn’t good either. But what these people REALLY need to do is stop having their ushers act like body guards. They need to be able to enjoy themselves as well. They work at a venue that has live music for crying out loud. Loosen up the leash and quit being so uptight. Believe me, I’m not just some random west Michigander with a hot take, I grew up over there and have attended over 70 concerts there. If they continue the same behavior as I’ve seen in the past, calling yourself Pine Knob won’t make a difference if you’re still DTE Energy Music Theater at heart. What incredible irony that would be.

Stunning 1939 Kalamazoo Gibson Guitar

She's well-worn, but they really don't make 'em like this anymore. Maximillian Terranova still plays his grandfather's 1939 Kalamazoo guitar made at the Gibson factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

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