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Pepsi/Billboard’s Nashville Summer Beats Show Lets Fans Take Control

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Music fans in Music City had a more-than-attractive alternative to watching the Olympics Monday night, as Billboard and Pepsi presented the Nashville leg of its Summer Beats concert series at the Cannery Ballroom that evening. The free show featured a smokin' lineup of some of the town's most cutting-edge talent: Gloriana, Jana Kramer, Easton Corbin, Jerrod Niemann and Randy Houser.

But that's not all. Fans who weren't lucky enough to catch a plane to Nashville were still able to join in--and influence!--the fun. Gloriana's set was streamed live (check out highlights here) on Pepsi's specially enhanced Twitter page, and those watching provided input on the set in real time, as well as what song they'd like to have as an encore performance.

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Houser and Niemann {Photo: Royce DeGrie}

The artists involved in the Nashville show uniformly expressed excitement at being part of the experience, as well as talked about the various ways social media in general has enhanced their careers and fan relationships.

Randy Houser called social media a "highway to fans" and noted that his favorite thing about Twitter is how he can reach out personally to those who love his music. "In a split second, you can make someone's day," he explained.

Meanwhile, Jerrod Niemann said he liked the aspect of how social media is "open" around the clock, allowing him to chat 24-7 with fans. "I love to hang out until the wee hours of the morning," he smiled. "I like to visit with everybody!"

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A couple on their first date dance to Gloriana's set. {Photo: Sara Kauss}

However, the concert did display a fine example of real-time "fan interaction" that didn't involve social media. Gloriana invited a couple from the audience up on stage during their song "(Kissed You) Good Night"--and invited them to smooch for the cameras. Cute, right...? However, the catch was, these two were on their very first date! (They did eventually rise to the challenge, much to the delight of the crowd.)

The evening additionally provided a fantastic dose of good ol'-fashioned rockin' the house, with the energy level remaining solid throughout.

This is the second installment of the series, an initiative designed to encourage music lovers to "Live for now" through up-to-the-minute interaction with their favorite artists as well as fellow fans. It kicked off in June with a special Los Angeles performance from Katy Perry, and a final New York City show in August will close out the series.

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