There are many different benchmarks a young artist can use to measure how successful they’ve been: album sales, Twitter followers, sold-out shows.
But there is one very rare summit that makes any of those high points pale by comparison. On Saturday night in her hometown of Auckland, New Zealand, Lorde made it to that peak: Bruce Springsteen covered one of her songs.
The Boss didn’t just play her global smash “Royals” at the Mt. Smart Stadium show, though, he opened his second-ever gig in NZ with a solo unplugged take on the song that made Lorde a superstar.
Giving it his signature acoustic guitar and harmonica makeover, the Boss transformed “Royals” into a dusty outlaw campfire ballad, injecting grit into the original slick studio track. Hell, he even switched up the lyrics a bit and dubbed himself “King Bee,” and swapped out some other words, singing “Long ago I was the next big thing/ Now I’m in love with being king.” In the original, Lorde sings, “We’re bigger than we’ve ever dreamed/ And I’m in love with being queen.”
Springsteen has been dipping heavily into the local talent pool on his recent Australian swing as well, covering a slew of Aussie acts in previous shows, including AC/DC, the Bee Gees and INXS.