Erik Aratari is a Highland, Michigan native. He’s covered Detroit rock concerts for 12 years for WCSX and our sister station, WRIF.
When did you start taking concert photos?
I like to say I officially started shooting photos at Mayhem Fest 13’ featuring Zombie, FFDP and more. I didn’t own a camera yet when I applied and got approved. Bought one that week.
Do you remember the first show you shot?
The first time I remember experiencing a photo pit was for Lamb of God and In Flames at the Fillmore in 2012. A buddy randomly gave me a pass so I went down and checked it out. I only had my iPhone at the time, which is really frowned upon but I didn’t know at the time. That show is what encouraged me to request a photo pass for Mayhem Fest 13’.
What is one of your all-time favorite concerts in Detroit and why?
Thats a really hard one but I’ll have to go with Metallica. They’re who really got me into rock and metal. And to be able to photograph the biggest band in the world was unbelievable.
What’s one of the strangest concerts you ever photographed?
I think I have to say the Up and Smoke Tour at the Masonic feat Snoop Dogg, Warren G and Bone Thugs n Harmony. There was definitely a lot of smoke.
What are your favorite concert venues to shoot in?
I love the Fillmore, everything about it. It always has great lighting and killer bands. St. Andrews is a close second.
It’s all about the people watching… do you have some favorite concert attendee photos?
I don’t really turn and shoot the crowd much but one set that was fun and memorable was during A Day To Remember at Inkrceration Festival. I was shooting from next to the soundboard and they had tons of crowd surfers and people surfing on the crowd surfers.