With all his commercial success and industry awards, Eric Church has become a country music insider, but at the 2013 CMA Awards he was one of 'The Outsiders' when he performed his latest single to thunderous applause.

Church brought a bit of hard rock to the CMAs with the song's scorching guitars and aggressive vocals, as well as its pyro stage effects. Church had previously said he wasn't sure how the CMA crowd would react to the 'The Outsiders,' but the impressive display earned him a standing ovation from his peers -- and served notice that he's already a favorite for next year's CMA ceremony.

'The Outsiders' won't hit retailers until February 2014, but the title track has been rising up the charts. Church's last effort, 'Chief,' took home Album of the Year honors at last year's CMA Awards. Church was a nominee tonight for two awards.