Jess Luther had never actually met Dave Baker when he approached her last spring about starting a music blog. They were "Internet friends," she says — meaning they were music fans who always seemed to be tweeting about the same shows.
But after just one meeting, at the Royale on South Kingshighway, they decided to attend a concert together. (Coincidentally, it was the RFT Music Showcase.) From there, I Went to a Show, or http://iwenttoashow.com, was born. "That's the magic of the Internet," Luther says.
Neither Luther nor Baker is a critic by trade. She works in commercial lending; he's in IT. "We're not writers," she says. "We're fans."
That idea proved to be the blog's guiding force. "We're not going to pretend to like a band we don't like," Luther says. "We're not getting paid for this; we're not going to B.S. people. But there's so many bands we like. It's easy to find things we want to support."
The site's founders were also driven by a desire to do something "meaningful," Luther says — which, to them, entailed more than offering just another take on national acts.
"We found ourselves pretty impressed by the resurgence of local music," Luther explains. "People had always been putting good stuff out, but lately people had started paying more attention to it. We knew it didn't have to be a sold-out show at the Pageant for it to be worth writing about."
Within months two collaborators became five, with writer Julie Dill, freelance photographer Corey Woodruff and Web designer Annie McCance joining the site. Today, in addition to concert reviews, I Went to a Show offers artist spotlights, interviews and ticket giveaways.
The website's goal for 2011 is to add even more voices. "Right now it's, 'Here's what we like,' and, 'Here's what our friends like,'" Luther says. "We want to diversify what we cover. And because we don't want to talk about stuff we're clueless about, we want to bring in people who are knowledgeable about other genres to write about what they like, too."