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Springsteen rocks New Orleans, damns 'inept' politicians
Performing at the city's jazz festival alongside Bob Dylan
Performing at the city's jazz festival alongside Bob Dylan.

Bruce Springsteen has described the government's response, and subsequent rebuilding of New Orleans, after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina as "criminal ineptitude" at a music festival over the weekend.

In town for a slot on the Jazz and Heritage Festival, Springsteen took the opportunity to express the anger felt by many of the city's residents - most of them working or lower class Americans, which further magnified the damage caused by the August 2005 disaster - through spoken word and the power of song.

"I saw sights I never thought I'd see in an American city," he told the huge festival crowd yesterday (April 30). "The criminal ineptitude makes you furious."

On a bill which also saw Bob Dylan, the Dave Matthews Band and Elvis Costello performing over the weekend (with more acts scheduled to play for the event's second weekend, starting this Friday, including the city's favoured musical son, Fats Domino), Springsteen performed tracks from his latest album "We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions." - discounting his biggest hits for the night.

"How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?" was dedicated to "President Bystander," and included the lines, "There's bodies floatin' on Canal and the levees gone to hell ... them who's got out of town, and them who ain't got left to drown, tell me, how can a poor man stand such times and live?"

The festival draws around 400,000 people over two weekends, and is being held at a racecourse that was underwater during the worst of Katrina's flooding.
written by on 5/1/2006 12:00:00 AM

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