Reviewed by Melanie Haupt, Fri., Sept. 30, 2005
Zilker Park, Sept. 24
"Hi, we're Tegan and Sara, featuring John Darling and Tracy Bonham!" grinned the pocket-sized rock violinist who gamely replaced the Canadian folk-rock twins after a last-minute cancellation. A surprising number of faithful (raise your hand if you forgot Bonham's 1996 hit "Mother Mother") clustered around the stage for her spirited, cheerful performance. Bonham's set concentrated on material from her recently released third album, Blink the Brightest (Zoe), guitarist Darling providing support. The new material, which included the bouncy "Dumbo Sun," sweet ode "Shine," and smoky, blues-tinged "Whether You Fall" isn't quite as edgy as her long-ago hit, which also made it onto the set list, but that's not necessarily a failing. Bonham, touring with fellow festival act Aqualung, closed out the set playfully, improvising a limping version of Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog" with Ben and Dave from Aqualung joining her on drums and bass. It wasn't a masterful cover, but it was fun, as was her rendition of "Hollaback Girl." And if you can't have fun in the face of being the B-team for a major music festival, you might as well go crying to your mother mother.