The Day The Music Came To Life

by jdowney


Arts & Entertainment


The Day The Music Came To Life

Stuartstock ’22 Showcases the Best Music PC has to Offer

Jack Downey ’23

On April 29, music could be heard echoing throughout Providence College’s campus. The reason? WDOM’s annual festival, Stuartstock. Last year, Stuartstock was a bright spot during a gloomy COVID-19 pandemic year. This year’s festival built on that momentum, featuring a positively electric bill with music of all genres.

Kicking off the event was Diego Avila ’22, performing under the stage name A-Fue. A week ago, A-Fue released his newest album, Beast Mode, on all streaming services. Armed with this new material, he took the stage and blew the audience away with his tight flow and emboldened attitude. Even the most diehard rock fans at the show were getting into A-Fue’s music, proving his crossover appeal. Notably, A-Fue delivered verses in Spanish and ended his set with an unreleased track.

Up next was WDOM’s webmaster, Alex Sateriale ’24. Armed with only an acoustic guitar and his voice, Sateriale sang and crooned his way through songs ranging from Foo Fighters’ “Everlong” and Passenger’s “Let Her Go” to Mike Posner’s “I Took a Pill in Ibiza.” The biggest hit of Sateriale’s set was his final song, a cover of 5 Seconds of Summer’s “Youngblood.” 

Following Sateriale was twin sibling duo Ava and Paloma Dobski ’25, with the former on guitar and backing vocals while the latter sang lead. The sisters performed an eclectic mix of covers, including “Closer to Fine” by the Indigo Sisters and “Killing Me Softly” by The Fugees. Their harmonies elevated these to new heights and captivated the audience. Similarly to Sateriale, the pair’s final song, “Hey Ya” by OutKast, was their biggest crowd-pleaser. At first, they sang slowly, but picked up the tempo towards the first chorus. At the conclusion of the performance, the Dobskis’ announced that they had disbanded. Truly a tragedy.

Ben Guisto ’24 was next to take the stage. Guisto’s set was notable for its multitude of instruments and guests. He started off with a cover of Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets,” which involved him playing a keyboard in classic Elton John fashion. Next, Guisto invited Nick Grilli ’24 to the stage to sing “In The Blood” by John Mayer and Ried Kieper ’24 to the stage to play electric guitar on Cage The Elephant’s “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked.” At the end of his set, he performed an original song called “Madeline,” which left the audience wanting to hear more of his original material.

After Guisto came DJ Houseparty, aka WDOM station technician Kieran Kraus ’23. He put together a catchy and well-connected set of songs that immediately had people dancing. What’s even more impressive is that Kraus also DJ’d 22 Nights, later that day, proving his dedication to his work. Notably, Kraus’s set marked a transition point between the solo/duo acts that kicked Stuartstock off and the bands that would take the stage for the rest of the event.

The first of these bands was a brand new group called The Constellations. Consisting of Reid Kieper ’24 (vocals, guitar), Declan Henry ’24 (vocals, guitar), Griffin May ’24 (bass), and Sean Smith ’24 (drums), the band charmed the audience with three originals and two covers. Much of their set harkened back to the bright, upbeat sound of 60’s rock music, especially their cover of “Twist and Shout.” However, they also had a modern edge to their sound, as apparent in their original song “All or Nothing” and their take on The White Stripes’ “Fell in Love With a Girl.” Overall, their set was thoroughly enjoyable, and the PC community awaits their next appearance with great interest.

Next up were St. Joe and the Dorms, who made their debut at last year’s Stuarstock. With May on vocals and guitar, yours truly on bass and vocals, and Cat Mazo ’22 on drums, the trio powered through classics such as “Help!” by The Beatles and “Blitzkrieg Bop” by The Ramones. In typical Dorms fashion, the set ended with an original, “Sometimes I Think,” and Chuck Berry’s rock standard “Johnny B. Goode.” Their charisma and energy had the crowd moving and dancing throughout their entire set, with some people even starting an impromptu mosh pit. It was truly a sight and sound to behold.

Freshman Year, another new band, was next. The group’s core trio was Mason Wasserman ’25 (guitar), Alonso Moreno ’25 (vocals, guitar), and Ryan Peduto ’25 (drums). They were joined by Wes Stephens ’25 (vocals) and Maisie Cocker ’25 (vocals). Stephens’s baritone helped the band glide through songs such as Mac Demarco’s “Freaking Out The Neighborhood” and The Arctic Monkeys’ “Fluorescent Adolescent.” Cocker took the lead on “Heart Shaped Box” by Nirvana and “Where is My Mind?” by The Pixies, with the latter song inspiring some joyous movement. Towards the end of Freshman Year’s set, Moreno took lead vocals on another Nirvana song, “Breed.” Overall, the set was very entertaining, and Freshman Year are certainly a group to watch.

Next up was The Keegan Turner Band, which consists of PC students yours truly (bass) and Colin McNamara ’25 (guitar), as well as the titular Keegan Turner (vocals, guitar) and Dennis Chadwick (drums). The band rocked their way through five original songs and a cover of The Ronettes “Be My Baby.” Recently, the band released their first original single “Prequel Love,” and the live performance of this track generated some serious buzz among the crowd. The highlight of the group’s set was their performance of “Take a Chance,” with its singalong chorus and driving beat getting the crowd moving and singing along.

Finally, PC’s own Fr. Justin and Fr. Peter took the stage as The Hillbilly Thomists to close out the festival. Backed by a magnificent sunset, the two Friars performed classics such as Weezer’s “Island in the Sun” as well as originals such as “Holy Ghost Power.” The soft sounds of acoustic guitar and mandolin swept gently over the campus, making everyone in the audience feel at ease. It was the perfect way to end the event, and everyone left feeling good. 

Overall, Stuartstock ’22 was a sensational event, and it will go down as one of the greatest musical celebrations of PC’s 2021-2022 school year.

A Month After The Met

by jdowney


Arts & Entertainment


A Month After The Met

Looking Back on a Night of Musical Triumph

Jack Downey ’23

After last September’s utterly spectacular concert at The Met in Pawtucket, the anticipation for a follow-up performance was through the roof. Behind the scenes, the musicians put plans together for a Dec. 4 show in order to meet demand. However, this goal proved to be unfeasible, so the concert was moved to Jan. 27, right at the start of Providence College’s spring semester.

Unfortunately, the Omicron variant of COVID-19 had other plans. Omicron shut down most concerts throughout January, leading to the postponement of The Met show out of safety concerns. Feb. 17 was set as the new date for the performance. Fortunately, by then, the threat of Omicron had receded, and with PC relaxing its campus-wide mask mandate, the timing for a concert could not have been better. Feb. 17 was a go.

Set to perform at this show were wild rockers St. Joe and the Dorms as well as returning headliner Nolan Donato ’22 and his backing band. Previous exciting performances from both groups led hype to grow exponentially in the weeks leading up to the show. On the day of the performance, the whole campus seemed to be buzzing about it. Everyone seemed to feel that this night was going to be something to write home about.

Just as the show was about to start, however, tragedy struck: Donato fell ill. Unable to recover, he ultimately made the painful choice to leave The Met and go home. Backstage, the other musicians avoided panic, instead they figured out how to continue the show without its star. The decision was made to split vocal duties amongst the remaining musicians. Guest singers Jack Wilmot ’24, Lauren Fraser ’22, Anna Gaul ’22, and Kathryn Genest ’25 chose a handful of songs on the setlist and began rehearsing right then and there. The backing band, led by Griffin May ’24 and Joe Genest ’22, took on some vocal duties, as well. Yours truly even got to sing a couple of songs.

St. Joe and the Dorms first took the stage, and their chaotic energy and charisma immediately had the audience in the palm of their hand. After blasting through a setlist consisting of only the fastest of rockers, such as “Rockaway Beach,” “Dancing With Myself,” and “Johnny B. Goode,” their set was so enjoyable that they seemingly departed the stage just as quickly as they walked onto it. 

Fortunately, the headlining band provided a perfect follow-up. The only thing left to chance was how the crowd would react to the news of Donato’s unfortunate illness. After playing through Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish,” Genest ’22 broke the news to the audience. Much to the musicians’ relief, the crowd was very understanding of this development and still hungry for a night of live music. With their energy restored, the band carried on.

All the guest singers did a fantastic job. Fraser and Gaul’s duet on Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’” was certainly one of the highlights of the night, due largely in part to the two singers’ chemistry. Wilmot also shone brightly, particularly when he led the audience through a rousing rendition of “Kilby Girl” by The Backseat Lovers. The entire crowd was jumping, which was truly an awe-inspiring sight. Genest ’24 got the groove going towards the end of the set by playing “Walk This Way” by Aerosmith, not to mention a medley of funk classics. The entire concert ended with an ensemble performance of “Country Roads, Take Me Home” by John Denver, a perfect way to end the night.

The crowd was truly blown away by what they saw. Many of them had not been to a concert featuring their peers before, and to see that kind of talent demonstrated by their friends and classmates was something to behold. Colin McNamara ’25 remarks that the concert was “life changing” and “something he’d remember for the rest of his life.” Another concert at The Met is currently being planned for later in the spring semester. Topping the Feb. 17 show will certainly take effort, but the talented student performs are surely more than up to the task.

Harry Styles’ “Love on Tour”

by Sarah McLaughlin '23
Editor-in-Chief


Arts & Entertainment


Harry Styles’ “Love on Tour”

A Memorable Concert Experience Worth the Two-Year Wait

Grace Whitman ’22

 After being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Harry Styles’ Love on Tour Concert is in full swing, with three shows hitting the Providence area last week. On Oct. 23 and 25, Styles performed at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. Tickets for this show sold out in less than five minutes. Additionally, on Monday, Oct. 26, he made his way north to play at TD Garden. In an homage to the elaborate outfits for which the singer is infamous, concertgoers dressed in colorful flared pants, rhinestone jumpsuits, glitter, and feather boas—stray multicolored feathers from which covered the floors. Fans knew they had to dress to impress because there was a chance that Styles would see them in the audience. 

At the Oct. 23 show, Styles took center stage, dressed in red pants and a green shirt, a color combination that seemed to pay homage to his hit single “Watermelon Sugar,” and had the crowd on their feet as he opened the concert with “Golden,” a song from his album Fine Line. With a stage in the middle of the arena and two catwalks stretching on both ends, every fan was close enough to make a connection with the singer. He started the concert off by challenging everyone to have as much fun as he does, and the concertgoers certainly did. 

Styles radiates positivity and encourages everyone to “Treat People with Kindness.” Considering that everyone was away from one another for nearly two years, he motivated fans to really take note of how they felt to finally be back together. Styles’ fans adore him, and he made it clear that the feeling is mutual. 

The singer performed a perfect variety of songs, from ballads like “Cherry” and “Falling” to upbeat dance songs like “Only Angel” and “Adore You.” Fans were dancing so much that even the bleacher seats got a bit wobbly. 

About an hour into his set, Styles jokingly announced that if anyone wanted to go to the bathroom or get some water, they could not because it was time to dance. He then kicked off a 15-minute set of upbeat songs like “Canyon Moon,” “Treat People with Kindness”—during which he flew a pride flag that a fan brought around the stage—and One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful.”

Just when fans thought the show was over, Styles rose from below the stage to sing three of his most popular songs: “Sign of the Times,” his Grammy-winning single “Watermelon Sugar,” and “Kiwi.”

What makes a Harry Styles concert different from any other is the larger-than-life stage presence that he brings to every single show. From having the whole arena sing happy birthday to his mother who was at home in England, to juggling balls given to him by a fan, he knows how to make every show unique and exciting. Although Fine Line came out in 2019, finally being able to see Harry in concert was well worth the wait for fans.

 

Global Citizen Live 2021 Combines Music and Social Justice

by Sarah McLaughlin '23
Editor-in-Chief


Arts & Entertainment


Global Citizen Live 2021 Combines Music and Social Justice

Musicians, Activists Come Together for a Good Cause

Madison Palmieri ’22

On Saturday, Sept. 25, hundreds of today’s most talented musical artists from all genres, as well as a smattering of celebrities, donated their time to come together for Global Citizen Live 2021—even though they were not all in the same place.

The festival took place across six continents over the course of 24 hours with the intent of raising awareness  for worldwide issues such as poverty, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic. It was scheduled to coincide with the UN General Assembly and G20 Climate Meetings. These are two important gatherings whose participants’ decisions have the potential to impact the issues Global Citizen is concerned with.

The organization was founded in 2008 with the goal of eradicating the most extreme forms of poverty by 2030. This year, however, it has focused on its “Recovery Plan for the World,” which seeks to end the pandemic through governmental and private sector aid that creates an “equitable global recovery.”

The concerts were held in venues including The Great Lawn in New York City’s Central Park and Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre. Other notable locations included London and Paris. At each venue, attendees were treated to unique, memorable performances from their favorite artists.

In Central Park, Camilla Cabello took the stage to perform “Havana” before her boyfriend and fellow singer Shawn Mendes joined her for a swoon-worthy rendition of their duet, “Senorita.” Billie Eilish dazzled fans with a set comprised of songs from her new album, Happier Than Ever. She also brought out her brother and frequent collaborator, FINNEAS, to perform a duet of “Your Power.” 

In between the musical performances, celebrities took to the stage, calling for social and political activism. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, for instance, expressed the need for vaccine equity across the globe. 

While the evening was filled with many outstanding performances, the most magical moments came during Coldplay’s set. They first performed their perpetually-tear-jerking hit “Fix You” with Eilish and FINNEAS in the twilight before inviting Cabello and Mendes back onstage to sing “Yellow,” another one of their classic tunes. For the grand finale, BTS appeared in hologram form for a bilingual performance of their new collaboration with Coldplay, “My Universe.”

In L.A., fans were treated to 5 Seconds of Summer’s first live performance in almost two years, opening with their 2014 smash hit, “She Looks So Perfect” and closing with their more recent chart-topper, “Youngblood.” Demi Lovato and Adam Lambert performed a rendition of “Mad World” and H.E.R. joined Stevie Wonder for a duet of “Superstition.”

In between sets, members of the Los Angeles Fire Department came onstage to share their harrowing personal experiences fighting wildfires in the hopes of raising awareness of how climate change leads to these devastating fires.

To close out the night, One Republic brought everyone back to the early 2010s for a crowd-pleasing rendition of their hit “Counting Stars.”

Across the pond, acts such as Duran Duran and Kylie Minogue performed in London; Ed Sheeran, Elton John, Black Eyed Peas, Doja Cat, Charlie Puth, and others took to the stage in Paris.

At all these venues and others, concertgoers, performers, and guest speakers alike were overjoyed to be back together in person. With the awareness generated by Global Citizen Live, hopefully they will soon be able to celebrate advancements in the social, political, economic, and environmental movements that Global Citizen champions.