Eric Church is no stranger to releasing live recordings of not only his songs, but covers of other artists as well. He has seven full live albums, containing recordings of his performances from all kinds of big stages from 2013 to 2018.
Any true Eric Church fan knows he credits the great Bruce Springsteen as one of his inspirations and this admiration shines front and center in his largest hit to date, named after the artist himself. The 7x platinum Springsteen has become a staple in country music over the years since its release, and his medley, Springsteen/Born To Run, has gained somewhat of a following of its own.
Church’s performance of the smash-hit on his 2013 live album, Caught In The Act: Live takes the career-defining tune to a whole new level. He’s able to seamlessly blend it with a classic Bruce Springsteen rock ballad, Born To Run, creating a profound medley that allows the listener to feel his authenticity and passion- making them feel like they’re right there in the crowd.
Written by Church himself, Springsteen is a tale of nostalgia, detailing his experience as a young man bringing a girl to a concert- I think you can take a wild guess at who was performing. During the performance he starts the song, tells his recollection of the backstory, sings part of Born To Run, and then finishes the song all in nine minute medley that is jam-packed with emotion. Midway through, Church tell the crowd:
“I had a melody connect itself to a memory that night and that’s what this song is about. It’s about something that we’re gonna remember for a long long time and… if you’ll indulge me, I’m gonna connect a melody in a memory right now.”
Eric Church has a way of taking the crowd in the palm of his hand and guiding them to feel the way he feels, which is a true testament to his skill as a performer and a storyteller. You feel like you’re there in Chattanooga, beer in hand, lighter in the sky- just like he was in the song.
Springsteen/Born To Run is an absolute gem not just in terms of great cover songs, but in terms of recorded performances in general. One might not think the original version of Springsteen featured on his Chief album could be topped, but this gives it a run for its money. It’s easily one of the greatest performances ever recorded and released for streaming.
Check out Springsteen/Born To Run – Medley/Live if you haven’t before. You can find it here along with a video of him performing the medley at a different concert than the one in the original recording: