Bruce Springsteen Offers Concert Dedication to Trayvon Martin
Bruce Springsteen's 'American Skin (41 Shots)' has sparked dialogue and inspired debate for more than a decade, and his latest live performance of the song seems certain to add a few more impassioned voices to the fray.
Playing in Ireland on Tuesday (July 16), Springsteen added '41 Shots' to the set list in honor of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, whose shooting death at the hands of neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman -- who was subsequently acquitted earlier this week -- has inflamed arguments about gun control, racial attitudes, and controversial 'stand your ground' laws allowing people to shoot when they feel threatened.
Springsteen's performance appears to have been inspired by a fan who brought a banner requesting the song; as the NME reports, he took the sign and told the crowd, "I want to send this one out as a letter back home. For justice for Trayvon Martin," before launching into the song. You can watch the performance via the fan-shot footage embedded above.
'American Skin' was originally written and performed as a response to a different shooting death -- the 1999 murder of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed New York City immigrant who was killed on the steps of his apartment by four police officers who, thanks to a tragic series of mistakes, believed him to be a serial rapist with a gun. All four officers were later acquitted.