Photos: Jason Davis/Getty Images for Pandora Media
Crowds lined up outside Marathon Music Works Friday night (June 5) for Pandora’s third free Pandora Country event, featuring Thompson Square with BBR labelmate Dustin Lynch and rising star Kelsea Ballerini (Black River).
Ballerini kicked off the event with a set list of Taylor Swift-approved songs including her debut single “Love Me Like You Mean It” and “Yeah Boy,” a track from her full-length debut. The 21-year-old sensation covered influential songs from her youth like Sarah Buxton‘s and Keith Urban’s “Stupid Boy.”
Recognizing today’s genre-blending audiences, Ballerini treated the eager crowd to pop-favorites including Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time,” “Oops I Did It Again,” Backstreet Boys’ “Everybody,” N’Sync’s “Bye Bye Bye,” Christina Aguilera’s “Genie In A Bottle,” Destiny’s Child “Bootylicious,” and Rihanna’s “Take A Bow.”
The perspiring performers received a warm reciprocation from the lively audience, which included Pandora listeners, media, sponsors and VIP guests. Next up for those slick-faced entertainers was Lynch, a true “urban cowboy” who proudly sported the film tee-shirt and his signature cowboy hat.
Lynch tipped that hat to cowboy superstars that came before him, performing Joe Diffie’s “John Deere Green,” Diamond Rio’s “Meet In The Middle,” Brooks and Dunn’s “Boot Scootin’ Boogie,” and Garth Brooks’ “Rodeo.” Not to be outdone by Ballerini’s treatment of pop music, Lynch covered Drake’s “Hold On We’re Goin’ Home,” to top off his set.
Many of the Tullahoma-native’s family was in the crowd, including his grandmother, who was celebrating a birthday. Lynch serenaded her with his first No. 1 single (and a song dedicated to his grandparents), “Cowboys And Angels.”
Benny Brown, Broken Bow Music Group’s Owner/CEO, has a secret. His key to success is great songs. Building a repertoire with those outstanding titles is Thompson Square.
The husband-wife duo wrapped the event on a well-equipped stage with reinforced lighting and props. Shawna’s eye contact was mesmerizing. Together with Keifer, the tension and chemistry compounded the quality songs like “I Got You,” “Everything I Shouldn’t Be Thinking About,” “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not,” “If I Didn’t Have You” and “Glass.” New music is being prepared with producers Dann Huff and Mickey Jack Cones. A preview of the driving tune “Stuck In My Head” was delivered.
The evening included many corporate sponsors, including Kingsford charcoal, Bud Light Lime Rita, Folgers Iced Café, and Velveeta’s new Jalapeño and Chipotle mac & cheese.
From time to time Pandora curates events from its unique ability to determine which artists will resonate best with local listeners by analyzing musical preferences, stations created, and thumbed-up songs. Invitations to events are then extended to Pandora listeners who have demonstrated an affinity for the identified artists.
Additional events have been hosted with Trace Adkins, Love & Theft, Jack White, Fall Out Boy, Imagine Dragons, Wyclef Jean, Earlsweatshirt, Chromeo, Celine Dion, Trey Songz, Diplo, Charli XCX, Neko Case, Bleachers, Tegan & Sara, Aloe Blacc, Cold War Kids, Estelle, J Balvin, The Hold Stead, Iggy Azalea and more.
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