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Springsteen puts the boot into 'robber baron bankers' at show

Rocker Bruce Springsteen touched on a nerve of widespread discontent with bankers at a Berlin concert, railing against them as "greedy thieves" and "robber barons".

'The Boss' played to a sold-out crowd at the city's Olympic Stadium last night, singing from his album Wrecking Ball.

He spoke about the tough economic times and left no doubt about who he blamed.

"In America, a lot of people have lost their jobs," said Springsteen (62), who performed for three hours to 58,000 fans.

"But also in Europe and in Berlin, times are tough," he added, in fluent German. "This song is for all those who are struggling."

He then introduced Jack Of All Trades, a withering attack on bankers that includes the lyrics: "The banker man grows fat, working man grows thin."

Berlin, largely a working class city, has been a special place for Springsteen since his July 1988 concert behind the old Iron Curtain in East Berlin. Watched by 160,000 people, it was the biggest rock show in East German history.

"The financial world has caused us all a lot of our problems and Springsteen has always been a critical spirit -- that's what I like about him," said Kathleen Wapp, a 42-year-old doctor's assistant from Wolfsburg who was at the show.

"I think it's great the way he's taking on the banking industry -- he's got it dead right," said Matthias Beck (46), a carpenter from Leipzig. "There's hardly anything good about banks. They take advantage of the little people, and it's always hard to find someone who'll take responsibility when it all goes wrong."

Springsteen's Wrecking Ball tour began on May 13 in Spain and it runs for two-and-a-half months with 33 stops in 15 countries before concluding on July 31 in Helsinki.

hnews@herald.ie


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