The opening "Only Ashes" was forceful. "Punk Rock Princess" thumped and jumped. "Drunk Girl" lapsed into OutKast's "Miss Jackson" (SoCo played OutKast's "Hey Ya!" at RiverFusion) and "21 and Invincible" had the crowd absolutely pulsating. But the band also had moments of subtlety: "Down" was tender, and an 11-minute "Konstantine" had the crowd hooting throughout.
The Milkmen launched their set with their 1988 MTV hit "Punk Rock Girl," and despite a minor lyrical hiccup from guitarist-singer Joe Jack Talcum, the band plowed on. Talcum, drummer Dean Clean and replacement bassist Dan Stevens delivered yeoman efforts, as animated primary vocalist-keyboardist-tin whistlist Rodney Anonymous propelled the band through a strong 30-song set, which included some of their best known songs -- "Where the Tarantula Lives," "Tiny Town," "Wonderfully Colored Plastic War Toys," "Right Wing Pigeons" and "Beach Party Vietnam," among others.
Soparano [SHANNON COULTER] joined the orchestra for Mozart's youthful gem "Exsultate, jubilate." While Coulter's voice is too soft and minoric for grand Italian opera, let alone for Wagner's superhuman challenges, it is ideal for the flexibility and warmth demanded by Mozart's scores. [Donald Spieth] and the orchestra accompanied the singer with vitality and elegance.