Ft. Myers, Florida
William H. Hammond Stadium
May 25, 2005

[Kenny D.], [James Hope]

Review by Kenny D.

Tonight's show in Ft. Myers was from my view was a gem of a show. 
Certainly an improvement over the 2003 Florida swing with the Dead.  To Be
Alone with You was a very good opener.  The band came out hot and Bob was
in fine voice.  While all songs tonight were subperbly performed,
highlights included a smoking version of Highway 61 and a delicate and
sweet Girl of the North Country.  I enjoyed the slow ballad arrangement on
Girl from the North Country, which Bob sang with care.   After performing
the usually energenic High Water which featured a nice banjo from Donny
Herron, Bob gave us a truly fine rendition of I'll Be Your Baby Tonight. 
The final 4 songs featured a memorable Ballad of the Thin Man and a
equally pleasurable Don't Think Twice, It's All Right.  Bob seemed to be
in good spirits and sported a bright colored shirt.  Bob's voice was
strong and he was in great form as far as his lyrical phrasing was
concerned.  The band was tight and Bob has clearly settled into his
keyboard/bandleader role.  Looking to the Ft. Lauderdale show tomorrow.


Review by James Hope

First, my general operating principle: There are 2 kinds of people in the
world -- those who "get" Dylan, and those who don't.  If you don't get
Dylan, then Willie Nelson's wonderful parade of familiar hits probably
made you the happiest.  For the Dylan fan, however, Bob was simply

A well-rested Bob came out blazing at the keyboard, superb in voice.  The
Band (dressed in what can be best described as matching zoot suit bowling
shirts), played tight.  The lead guitarist had to exclusively watch Bob's
every facial twitch the entire night, for the subtle cues that meant Keep
Playing, versus the ones that meant Wind It Down.  For me it was like
trying to decipher the code between a baseball pitcher and his catcher.

As I was chest to the stage, directly under Bob the whole concert, I could
see how focused he was on the lyrics (but not without some minor struggles
-- the most memory lapses showing in I'll Be Your Baby Tonight, with
improvisations such as, "Close the binds.  Close them tight.  I'm gonna
give you an unforgettable night.").   As for the set list, there seemed to
be a high proportion of Greatest Hits 1 and 2 numbers, and no real
surprise gems.  Dylan did hit the harmonica freely, though never using the
guitar that had been set up for him.
For those keeping score: Direct looks into the audience -- Two.  Dialogue
with the audience -- Zero (other than the Band intro).

Songs that stood out include a very gently, lilting version of Girl Of The
North Country, and biting hard-rock treatments of Highway 61, Cold Iron
Bounds (fantastic), and Ballad Of A Thin Man.  However, folks, Summer Days
stole the show, leaving everyone breathless.  It was the moment in time
you uttered to yourself the words "musical genius".

All in all a very good show! 

James Hope


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