Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

New Orleans dispatch: My second Jazzfest with Bruce Springsteen

2012 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Presented By Shell - Day 3

Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Bruce Springsteen's appeal is undeniable, even to me.

To be inside the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is to go to another planet entirely, and on that planet the laws of gravity are different for everyone. Someone you’ve never heard of, like Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns, can pull you in like a magnet; at the same time, the idea of the Beach Boys playing a set for their 50th anniversary year can be repellent. Your soul mate might love Uncle Jesse on the drums with the Beach Boys, and run right over to the Acura Stage to see them, and hey, that’s fest, it’s all good. With all those stages, the crowds tend to balance themselves out. Except on Bruce’s day.

Yesterday it was as though the festival tilted, cause it seemed like the entire population of jazzfest’s small city was planted in camps and chairs and standing all the way back to the edge of the racecourse track to be within earshot of Bruce Springsteen.