The curtain is closing on an era of the Bronx rock music scene.
Bronx Underground is hosting its last event after a dozen plus years of bringing live music to local teens.
The music booking and promotions company was founded in 2001 by locals residents Dave Rose, Anita Colby, and Adam Fachler.
The trio were all musicians between the ages of 19 and 21, who found themselves playing gigs at bars with no teens in attendance.
There were few places for young bands to play in the area, and even fewer places for the under-21 crowd to see live music.
“We thought, there has to be a better way,” said Colby.
The mission of Bronx Underground was two-fold, said Rose. They wanted to provide opportunities for young, independent musicians, while creating a fun, alcohol-free place for teenage music fans to go.
“We wanted to give the youth in the neighborhood something to do on Friday nights without getting into trouble,” said Rose.
After a few years of bouncing around Throggs Neck venues, the group found an unlikely partner to host their dance parties and concerts, featuring all kinds of music from punk to electronics.
For more than ten years, Bronx Underground has hosted most of its events in the basement of the First Lutheran Church of Throggs Neck.
“We were really happy to have them here because it was a safe haven for young people,” said Pastor Ulf Lenow. “They were a blessing for the neighborhood.”
The event brought teens from all over the neighborhood and borough together, and Rose describes the atmosphere at the shows as ‘exhilarating.’
“I wish I had a place like that when I was growing up,” said Rose.
But despite the ongoing success of the shows, the group has decided it’s time for Bronx Underground to come to an end.
“Doing anything for 14 years is a long time,” said Colby. “We feel like it’s time to pass the torch.”
Part of the reason Bronx Underground saw success from the beginning was that the three founders were close in age to their audience, said Rose, but now they’re in their 30s, with families of their own.
“I really feel a movement based on youth has to be run by young people,” said Rose.
He hopes that the community of musicians and fans that Bronx Underground created continues in a new form.
“A music scene needs to be bigger than any individual,” said Rose. “We started it, but it certainly doesn’t have to end with us.”
Both Colby and Rose said they’re confident others will take their ideas and run with them. But whatever the future holds for the Bronx music scene, they’re proud of what they did for the past 14 years.
“We received a deluge of notes from kids explaining what Bronx Underground did for them,” said Colby.
They described how teens would look forward to the show each month; how they found a place where they could be themselves and belong to something. The whole experience of Bronx Underground was extremely rewarding for the trio, said Colby.
“It’s the best thing I’ve ever done,” she said.