Kenny Chesney Channels Bruce Springsteen in Asbury Park

“Part Of Me Thought it Was Cliché. Part of Me Wanted to Pay Respect.”

Kenny Chesney was on the fence about covering Bruce Springsteen during his two-hour concert Thursday night (May 12) at New Jersey’s legendary Stone Pony club. But it was one of the night’s most intimate moments.

The packed crowd of SiriusXM subscribers and contest winners hushed as Chesney opened with the first acoustic arpeggios of “One Step Up” from Springsteen’s 1987 album Tunnel of Love.

“Part of me thought it was cliché,” Chesney said. “Part of me wanted to pay respect. This song was on my [No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems] album, and I got an amazing letter from my friend from Asbury Park. It was one of the highlights of my life. I believe Bruce is in Barcelona, so Bruce, greetings from Asbury Park!”

The show served as the official launch of the No Shoes Nation station on SiriusXM. Other covers in the set list included Willie Nelson’s “Whiskey River,” AC/DC’s “Whole Lotta Rosie” with bassist Harmoni Kelley singing lead and Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Pride and Joy” featuring dueling harmonicas by tour coordinator Robin Majors and rock photographer Danny Clinch. Chesney entertained with “Noise,” “American Kids,” “Save It for a Rainy Day,” “When I See This Bar” and “Don’t Happen Twice.”

The Spread the Love tour continues this weekend with two nights at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut with Old Dominion. Chesney’s Some Town Somewhere lands July 8.

Lauren Tingle is a Tennessean and storyteller who eats music for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When she’s not writing or rocking out, she enjoys yoga and getting lost in the great outdoors.