Last Saturday, “Taking Back Queens”—a grassroots organization dedicated to promoting DIY musical ventures in the NYC borough—proved that a musty church basement makes for a great music venue.

Set inside the Hollis Woods Community Church in the Oakland Gardens section of Queens, the band bill was packed with the likes of hardcore and punk acts Enziguri, Float, the Best Lies, Progress, Oh The Humanity!, and Jukebox Romantics.

Headed up by college-aged dynamo Arlene Telly Vivar who runs Taking Back Queens, the evening carried a casual, intimate feel, much like hanging out in your best friend’s basement. By the time Oh the Humanity! stormed the stage, the crowd was thoroughly comfortable and amped up. The Massachusetts band’s singer Kevin Athas pushed the immersion further, enthusiastically interacting with the audience with a genuinely inspired fervor. Punk lifers Jukebox Romantics closed out the festivities with their crashing tempos and undeniable stage chemistry. And as they shouted about being “the last of a dying breed,” perhaps the crowd heard the echo of the all ages shows of NYC’s grimier yesteryear.

As Chris Andrews, guitarist/vocalist of the Best Lies stated, “We’re just chillin’ at a show in a church basement on a Saturday night. It’s pretty good to be able to do that in 2015.”

For more on Taking Back Queens, visit their page at

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