Capturing the “Cosmic Contract” of Red Rocks

Legendary music photographer Jay Blakesberg and Goose tour photographer Adam Berta discuss the experience of photographing a live concert at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheater.

Wayne Grayson • Dec 18, 2023

There aren’t too many concert venues that people know by name. But say “Red Rocks” to a music fan and they’ll not only know the venue, they’ll see the iconic backdrop and immediately be reminded of their favorite concerts there.

Located just 10 miles southwest of Denver, Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater is one of music’s most iconic venues. The amphitheater itself is built into a massive rock structure, with the stage nestled between three massive rocks with a distinctive red hue. Since its opening in 1941, Red Rocks has played host to some of the biggest acts in recording history including The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Diana Ross and the Supremes, U2, Neil Young, and more.

Given the storied history, incredible locale, and breathtaking views, it’s not just the dream of many recording artists to play at Red Rocks, it’s the dream of many touring photographers to capture a concert there. Earlier this year, veteran photographer and filmmaker Jay Blakesberg and the brilliant touring photographer Adam Berta shot an incredible performance by the band Goose, using OWC memory cards to ensure they didn’t miss a single shot.

Goose plays Red Rocks. Photo credit: Jay Blakesberg

Red Rocks and Blakesberg have a lot in common. While Red Rocks has hosted some of the biggest acts in history, Jay Blakesberg has photographed them. He’s been photographing legends since 1978, shooting portraits and performances of Neil Young, David Crosby, Willie Nelson, Tom Petty, John Mayer, Santana, Green Day, and many more.

“The spirit of Red Rocks goes deep in the Rock and Roll world, and it is always an honor to be shooting in that venue,” Blakesberg says. “When you are there, you can feel so much of the energy that has come before. Every show builds on that legend and the cosmic contract between stone, earth, sky, audience and musician becomes a stronger bond that will never be broken—and we get to document it with our eye, and our gear.”

An ecstatic crowd in the embrace of Red Rocks. Photo credit: Jay Blakesberg

Another link between Blakesberg and Red Rocks is the Grateful Dead. The Dead gave Blakesberg his big break and he has photographed the band regularly over the years. And there are few bands that have contributed more to the culture and aura around Red Rocks than the Dead.

The culture and following that have grown around Goose are very similar to that of the Dead. Berta, who serves as Goose’s tour photographer, has been to shows at Red Rocks as both a fan and a photographer and has fond memories of shows at the venue.

“Red Rocks is the most beautiful venue in the country,” he says. “There is an undeniable energy emanating from the sediment, making the concert experience second to none. There’s just something about Red Rocks that makes every concert unforgettable.”

Photo credit: Jay Blakesberg

And images like those captured by Blakesberg and Berta at Goose’s recent Red Rocks performance go a long way toward making these experiences truly unforgettable.

“Shooting Goose is an incredible experience. The music, their lighting, the fans all collide in a perfect storm of ecstasy and bliss,” Blakesberg says. “Being able to hang and shoot with my pal Adam Berta makes it even more special. This band attracts very creative photographers and Berta and the rest of the media crew all continue to inspire and push me to make great images.”

As veteran photographers, Blakesberg and Berta know well the thrill and challenges of shooting live concerts.

“Shooting concerts is a lot of fun, but just with other action photography niches, the moment passes with the blink of an eye,” Berta says.

Jay Blakesberg, left, and Adam Berta backstage at the Red Rocks Goose show. Photo credit: Jay Blakesberg

When you have the opportunity to shoot a band at the top of their game in a historic venue, you can’t miss a single shot. A slow memory card buffering between bursts or a low-capacity card running out of space halfway through the concert can causes major headaches or ruin a shoot entirely.

That’s why Blakesberg and Berta have both gone all-in on OWC’s end-to-end storage solution: Atlas memory cards for capture; speedy card readers for quick offload; compact Thunderbolt SSDs for backup, shuttling and editing; and Thunderbolt RAID solutions for archival.

At each step, OWC guarantees fast speeds and dependability, allowing photographers to focus on the moment instead of the data.

“My main camera is 42 megapixels,” Berta says. “Before I discovered OWC memory cards, I would run into card buffering issues when shooting a climax moment. I have not run into that problem since switching to OWC.”

Tools of the trade: Blakesberg and Berta relied on OWC Atlas memory cards to catch every moment of Goose's incredible performance at Red Rocks. Photo credit: Jay Blakesberg

OWC Atlas SD and CFexpress Type B memory cards combine ultra-fast read and write speeds with high capacities. With SD card capacity up to 1TB and CFexpress Type B capacity up to 2TB, OWC Atlas memory cards allow you to shoot without worry.

“With OWC I’m able to hold my shutter button and unleash the full potential of my camera to capture that fleeting apex moment,” Berta says.

During the Goose performance, Blakesberg and Berta used an assortment of OWC Atlas CFexpress and SD cards. Offload was fast and easy thanks to OWC’s Atlas Dual CFexpress + SD Card Reader, allowing them to offload both card types with one reader.

Blakesberg and Berta take advantage of an end-to-end OWC workflow for quick offload and backups, including Atlas memory cards, the Atlas Dual CFexpress + SD Card Reader and Envoy Elektron and Pro FX SSDs. Photo credit: Jay Blakesberg

Blakesberg says OWC cards and drives deliver a one-of-a-kind capture to completion workflow that makes getting images off the camera and into safe archival seamless.

“Having the full OWC workflow is reliable, fast ,and ultimately makes my life easier,” Blakesberg says. “It eases my mind to allow the creative vibes to flow. With a 512 GB card I can shoot all night long.

Blakesberg shoots to Atlas cards and uses OWC Envoy Pro Elektron and OWC Envoy Pro FX SSDs as his master and backup drives.

“Having this consistent and fast end-to-end experience gives me peace of mind, and transferring from those SSDs to our main archive RAID back at the studio completes the seamless experience. I really dig my OWC system,” Blakesberg adds.

You can check out more photos from Goose’s Red Rocks performance below and you can see more of Blakesberg’s work at and more of Berta’s work at And be sure to follow both of these artists on Instagram. Blakesberg is @jayblakesberg and Berta is @adambertaphoto.

Photo credit: Jay Blakesberg
Photo credit: Jay Blakesberg
Photo credit: Jay Blakesberg

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