Country Throwback: Eric Church Stuns Crowd with ‘Like Jesus Does’ at 2013 ACM Awards

by Clayton Edwards

Eric Church is a versatile performer. Whether he is in front of a full band with lights and pyrotechnics or sitting on a stool with a guitar, Chief knows how to work a crowd. At the 2013 Academy of Country Music Awards, Church showed that he doesn’t need the spectacle of a stage show to blow a crowd away.

His acoustic performance of “Like Jesus Does.” had the crowd going wild. During the performance, it was just Church, his guitar, and Valerie June singing harmony.

Eric Church, like any good country singer, shines in stripped-down performances. I’ve said it before, all you need is a good song, a good voice, and a guitar. It is in these showings that an artist can fully exhibit the heart and soul of their music.

When everything else is stripped away, all that is left is the music and the audience. It doesn’t matter if it is recorded, in a small venue, or a packed stadium, acoustic performances feel more intimate.

The intimacy of the performance added to the subject matter of the song combine to captivate the crowd. The song, “Like Jesus Does” is a sweet love song. The lyrics talk about a flawed man finding the love of a good woman. Like most of Eric Church’s songs, he makes it feel like he’s singing about his life.

At the same time, he could be taking a page out of the autobiography of any one of his listeners. The fans in attendance at the ACM Awards really felt it.

Eric Church Shines on Acoustic Songs

It is hard to see this performance and not think about Eric Church’s latest single “Lynyrd Skynyrd Jones.” The songs have so much in common. Not only do they showcase Chief’s guitar work and vocals but they also have references to classic tunes.

In the first verso of “Like Jesus Does,” Eric Church references Waylon Jennings. “I’m a long-gone Waylon song on vinyl/ I’m a back row sinner at a tent revival/ But she believes in me like she believes her Bible/ And loves me like Jesus does.” Later, he references “American Pie” by Don McLean.

At the same time, his latest track is both a ballad about a guitar-picking young man and a love letter to Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Before long, Eric Church will be back on the road captivating audiences once again. On Friday, Chief announced that he is working on putting together a North American tour. We’re still on the edges of our seats waiting on the details.