If you've been keeping score at home, rock 'n' roll journeyman Bruce Springsteen has been covering songs by artists whose home countries he's been playing in lately. So over the past couple weeks, we've gotten Bossified versions of AC/DC's 'Highway to Hell' and the Bee Gees' 'Stayin' Alive' in Australia that vary in their levels of tolerance.

Last night during a tour stop in Auckland, New Zealand, Springsteen kicked off his show with a cover of the most popular artist from the area in, well, forever. And his version of Lorde's 'Royals' was pretty much what you'd expect from Springsteen: a partly faithful, partly Springsteenian take on the pop and indie-rock anthem that dominated pretty much every corner of the world a few months back.

But unlike his most recent covers -- which have mostly been plugged-in, bar-band-style rave-ups -- Springsteen stripped down 'Royals' to its skeletal frame, making it almost sound like a 'Nebraska'-era rumination on fleeting fame.

Of course, by taking away the sturdy beat foundation of Lorde's breakthrough hit, Springsteen lost a big chunk of what makes 'Royals' so great. But he stuck pretty close to the song's lyrics, swapping the "queen bee" line for "king bee" at one point. You can watch video of the performance (which looks like it was shot in the parking lot) above.

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