Springsteen, McCartney left powerless to finish show

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Springsteen, McCartney left powerless to finish show

Concert organizers pulled the plug on Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney after the pair defied the sound curfew at London’s Hyde Park, silencing their microphones at the tail end of the show.

Springsteen had already exceeded the 10:30 p.m. curfew by half an hour Saturday night when he welcomed McCartney on stage and the pair sang the Beatles hits “I Saw Her Standing There’’ and “Twist and Shout.’’ But the microphones were turned off before they could thank the crowd, forcing them to leave the stage in silence.

A statement from concert organizer Live Nation said it was unfortunate that Springsteen’s three-hour-plus performance was stopped “right at the very end,’’ but the curfew had been laid down by authorities “in the interest of the public’s health and safety.’’

Huge concerts in Hyde Park, a 350-acre expanse of landscaped garden and parkland that abuts some of London’s wealthiest neighborhoods, have increasingly caused friction between fans and area residents, many of whom gripe about the late-night noise and nuisance.

With complaints on the rise, officials have decided that as of next year, the number of concerts will be slashed from 13 to nine and limit crowds to 65,000 instead of the current 80,000.

Steven Van Zandt, who plays guitar in Springsteen’s E-Street Band, criticized Saturday’s decision as heavy-handed.

“English cops may be the only individuals left on earth who wouldn’t want to hear one more from Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney!’’ he wrote on Twitter. “On a Saturday night! Who were we disturbing?’’

London’s flamboyant mayor, Boris Johnson, said the singers should have been allowed to keep going. “It sounds to me like an excessively efficacious decision,’’ he told a London radio program. “You won’t get that during the Olympics. If they’d have called me, my answer would have been for them to jam in the name of the Lord.’’ AP
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