It was a packed house onstage and off at the Echoplex on May 10th for the biggest Check Yo’ Ponytail 2 yet. Audience participation was not only allowed but encouraged while Trash Talk, Wavves, and headliner Andrew W.K. were onstage. Opening band Man’s Assassination, Man was spared the onslaught of rowdy invaders as long lines outside kept the crowd trickling in.
By the time hardcore punk rockers Trash Talk started their set, the energy of the sold-out Echoplex was throbbing. “You paid 100 bucks, you better get on this fuckin’ stage,” implored lead singer Lee Spielman. It was all the permission the crowd needed. With security standing by, audience members jumped onstage, got pummeled by the band, knocked over amps, and dove back off. Spielman took a turn in the middle of the mosh pit and later climbed the rigging along with bassist Spencer Pollard, who finished the set perched 10 feet above the stage.
Wavves’ noise pop set was more sedate, but the audience didn’t seem to notice as the stage invasion continued unabated. The band’s uniform of Timberlands, high socks, and dresses inspired one audience member to kneel onstage to what could only be described as motorboat lead singer Nathan Williams’ butt, lifting his skirt to do so.
“This is not a concert, this is not a show, this is a party!” declared Andrew W.K. at the beginning of his set, as if the crowd needed a reminder. With only him and a keyboard onstage, a maelstrom of cameramen, photographers, and audience members with fake blood streaking from their noses swirled around the “Party Hard” singer. At the end of the set, Andrew – celebrating a birthday – was presented with a cake he proceeded to smash ceremonially onto his head. And like that, the set was over. It was over much too soon for many of the attendees whose pleading chants of “Andrew, Andrew” went unheeded. The frenzy was over and the crowd filtered into the early morning darkness, bruised and cotton-eared but confident they’d partied their hardest.