We pulled into Pine Knob Amphitheater early; about 5:45 pm. (I know it's called DTE now, but only by the corporate suits - it will always be Pine Knob to all of us here in Detroit, Michigan!) Great White was headlining the concert that evening. The first band, L.A Guns, was to go on at 7:00 pm, so the parking lot was still quite empty for the most part. About sixty cars were scattered throughout the lot and coolers of beer (my guess . . . "Bud") were being unloaded and opened as eighties metal rock played from car stereo speakers. The tailgating parties were about to ensue as the mood of a decadent decade was re-created.
Debbie (my crazy rocker chick friend - Janice's incarnation) and I walked up to the "will call" window to get the tickets my friend Mike left for me.
Mike Fasano is a lead drummer from L.A. (Burbank). He played with the eighties band, Warrant. Among his many other current musical projects and band gigs, Mike is now back together and touring with some of the original Warrant band members, including lead singer Jani Lane (pictured in the above photo taken back stage after the concert. I am the 'groupie' in the shot).
Debbie and I passed through the gates, bought a couple of seven dollar beers from the Budweiser welcoming committee and walked around to enjoy the water falls and gardens. The evening was beautifully typical of Michigan summers; partly sunny and very humid with the temperature being in the high eighties - everything was in or from 'the eighties' that night (with 'high' being optional).
People watching was especially entertaining. Big hair everywhere . . . mall bangs, long rock-n-roll hair and the eighties signature look - the mullet (as it had been said: 'business in the front, party in the back!'). I was truly transported back to 1986, that was until some karaoke guy started singing a horribly flat crappioke rendition of Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock-n-Roll."
Can't someone shut him up? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease?
The crowd also consisted of many younger fans - children's arms being rocked and rolled about by their enthusiastic parents and teenage boys who are wise enough beyond their years to know rock and roll will never die.
And the outfits! I guess a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do to get the attention of the rock stars . . . unless the girl's lucky and has a friend in the band like me! So, that saved me some cash and a trip to Lover's Lane - I wore my worn in and dearly loved jeans and my old Harley boots. Oh, and of course a shirt. But, the rock fashion spectacular was a hoot to watch. A hoot I say!
(Below) Mike doing his thing
The L.A Guns opened the show. They really warmed us all up - but then rock and rollers are always ready for a reason to jump and scream and get all hot and sweaty.
Jani Lane and the "Formerly Ofs," (that's Mike's band) were up next. I took some great shots from the second row. Everyone that close closely eyes everyone else . . . girls sizing each other up competition style to see who will get further and farther back stage; guys looking for potential after show action with the mindset that since they are so close to the stage they themselves are rock stars to the second degree. I was so proud of Mike and so happy to see him perform with his old gang at a big venue again. This is what he does - he is an L.A. rock musician/drummer - and he loves it.
After some more beer, a few Doritos and a Twinkie backstage, (yes, that's how rock stars party! They eat Twinkies - and that folks is the real answer to how and why Rock and its Rollers will live forever - have you ever seen a molded Twinkie?) Debbie and I went side stage to catch some of Great White's act.
To see that sea of people - the packed crowd - from that angle is amazing! I could feel the energy being poured forth from all of the appreciative fans who were slowly pushing their way toward the stage as the night got later and later.
A former groupie of the "Formerly Ofs."
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