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Last Updated: Monday, 1 May 2006, 09:26 GMT 10:26 UK
Rocker angry at Katrina response
Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen played an emotional set
Bruce Springsteen has criticised politicians for "criminal ineptitude" in their response to Hurricane Katrina in the southern United States.

The singer was performing at the Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans, parts of which he had visited after they were devastated in the disaster.

"I saw sights I never thought I'd see in an American city," he said. "The criminal ineptitude makes you furious."

More than 1,300 people were killed across US states affected by Katrina.

The population of New Orleans fell from nearly 500,000 to less than 200,000.

Fans cried and embraced during poignant songs in Springsteen's set.

In one, How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?, the lyrics referred to "bodies floating" in the street and levees which had "gone to hell".

Jazz influences

My City in Ruins, originally written for the singer's favourite town of Asbury Park in New Jersey, was dedicated instead to New Orleans.

And reflecting the city's jazz influences, he ended his performance with When The Saints Go Marching In.

Springsteen was joined on the bill at the festival by other high-profile acts including Bob Dylan, the Dave Matthews Band and Elvis Costello.

The annual event traditionally draws around 400,000 people and boosts the city's economy by up to $300m (165m).

It is being held at a racetrack on the northern side of city that was underwater eight months ago and continues next weekend.


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