"Bush is 'President Bystander' "-- says Bruce Springsteen

Backed by a raucous 18-piece band, Springsteen played folk tunes including "We Shall Overcome," an anthem of the U.S. civil rights movement and "Bring Them Home," an anti-war song dating to the Vietnam War era.

During a break between songs, he offered harsh words for the administration of President George W. Bush and its handling of last year's devastating Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, which killed more than 1,500 people in Louisiana alone.

"I've never seen anything like it in any American city," Springsteen said of the flooding and destruction. Referring to Bush, whom he called "President Bystander" in a performance in New Orleans last month, Springsteen added, "He managed to gut the only agency, through political cronyism, that could help people at a time like this."