Break the Chains at
Make Shift Boston
With the Shondes, Hailey Wojcik, Evan Greer, BlackOUT, and Myriam Ortiz. 549 Columbus Ave., Boston. Saturday at 6 p.m. $10-$20 suggested donation, $5 for children/low-income guests (all guests welcome, even without cover). www.facebook.com/events/839851046074193/
The deal: Break the Chains is a queer/trans-friendly, all-inclusive party for self-proclaimed social-justice warriors and dance-happy activists, with live bands rocking friendly venues around town in an all-ages, wheelchair-accessible, semi-monthly shindig aimed at promoting marginalized musicians and partying across identity lines. This month’s Break the Chains hails from Make Shift, a social justice art space based in South Boston. “It’s a really DIY event,” said organizer, founder, and performer Evan Greer. “I really wanted to create a space where everyone in our community could come together . . . through a unified drumbeat of social justice.” Greer started breaking chains in a co-op house in Jamaica Plain with longtime friend and fellow parent Myriam Ortiz. “I wanted to throw something that doesn’t feel like an event for parents or kids, but I wanted to create a kickin’ dance party that starts at 6 and ends at 10.” But don’t be fooled: Break the Chains isn’t child’s play — the presenters are absolutely serious about throwing a killer party with a welcoming crowd. “Most people when you ask them, ‘What’s the best dance party you’ve been to?,’ they don’t say, ‘Oh, it was at this 21+ club where the drinks were $14,’ ” Greer said.
The music: Brooklyn’s queer rockers the Shondes (Yiddish for “the Disgraces”) headline Saturday’s BTC, which features a diverse set of musicians throughout the night. Greer identifies as a “poppy queer political folk singer-songwriter,” and will be opening for the Shondes with Ortiz and her partner, former political prisoner Kazi Toure. “All my songs deal with the fight against oppression. . . . My music is a reflection of that struggle,” Greer said. The Theater Offensive’s black queer youth group, BlackOUT, will debut at Saturday’s show with spoken word and performance art.
The crowd: Anyone and everyone. Break the Chains values inclusiveness above all else, so if you’re supportive and interested in creating safe party spaces for all people, you’re welcome. “This is the type of dance party for people who block I-93 because black lives matter,” Greer said. “Queer people across the spectrum [tend to attend], but whoever is there is there because they care and because they want to dance to music about resistance.”
The tip: “Come ready to dance, ready to learn, and ready to meet some amazing people that will love and accept you just for showing up. The dress code is whatever the hell you want.”