WDOM/BOP Battle of the Bands Brings Down the House

by Jack Downey '23 on May 29, 2023
A&E Co-Editor

Arts & Entertainment

On Saturday, April 15, W.D.O.M. and B.O.P. teamed up to cohost a new event at McPhail’s: a Battle of the Bands. Many other schools in the state have hosted these, so it was exciting to see Providence College generate enough on-campus talent to have one of their own. The bands on the roster were Freshman Year, Wave Goodbye, The Hopeless Romantics, Friday Life, The Grapes, and St. Joe and the Dorms.

Each band brought something special to the table. The amount of dedication and passion  on display was truly heartwarming, as was the crowd’s reception. Many people came out to support their friends, highlighting how important audience members are to the live music experience.

Freshman Year went first. Their set consisted of “Cloud 9” by Beach Bunny, “Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheatus, and “Can’t Stop” by Red Hot Chili Peppers. For this performance, the band was fronted by Christina Schwab ’25, and she did a terrific job. Wes Stephens ’25, the bass player, also got a chance to take lead vocals on “Can’t Stop.” Mason Wasserman ’25 and Ryan Peduto ’25 crushed it on guitar and drums, respectively, with Alonso Moreno ’25 showcasing his bass chops on “Can’t Stop.”

Following Freshman Year was Wave Goodbye. The lineup for this band was Jack Downey ’23 on vocals and guitar, Reid Keiper ’24 on guitar, Veronica Butler ’25 on bass, and Sean Smith ’24 on drums. They quickly blasted through three jangly originals written by Downey, which was exciting since they had never been played with a full band before.

The Hopeless Romantics went on third. Easily one of the quickest rising groups on campus, the quartet consists of Declan Henry ’24 on vocals and guitar, Reid Kieper ’24 on vocals and guitar, Colin McNamara ’25 on bass, and Sean Smith ’24 on drums. Starting with one of their most beloved originals, “Maybe We’re Not Meant to Be,” the band had people up on their feet. Even more people took to the floor when they busted out a cover of “Twist and Shout,” most famously done by The Beatles. Finally, the group showcased a newer original called “Why’d You Have to Lie to Me?” a tense indie jam that closed things out with a bang.

Originally, The Keegan Turner Band was supposed to perform next, but due to a last minute unavailability, Friday Life hopped on the bill around an hour in advance. The quickly assembled version of the group consisted of Jack Downey ’23 on vocals and guitar, the founder of the band back in 2017; Brendan Downey ’26 on keys, Colin McNamara ’25 on bass, and Griffin May ’24 on drums. With almost no prep time, the band launched into three originals, including fan favorite “Don’t Depend On Me.” The final song, “Young Adult,” featured Brendan unplugging his keyboard from the PA and allowing members of the audience to play it. This certainly caught people off guard!

The Grapes went on next. Their lineup consisted of Jack Wilmot ’24 on vocals, Ryan Peduto ’25 on guitar, Alex Rzehak ’23 on guitar, Ava Dobski ’25 on bass, and Brendan Greene ’23 on drums. With each performance, this group continues to get tighter, and that was on full display here. The first two songs they performed showcased their funkier side: “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder and “Brick House” by The Commodores. After this, they cranked things up for a smoky rendition of “All Along the Watchtower” in the vein of Jimi Hendrix. Peduto’s blistering solo did the legend justice.

Finally, St. Joe and the Dorms took the stage. Immediately after they plugged in and began playing, the crowd was on their feet and dancing. They kicked things off with “I Wanna be Sedated” by The Ramones before blasting right into “Fight For Your Right” by The Beastie Boys. Finally, they had the crowd singing along to their original “Sometimes I Think.” Griffin May ’24 (vocals, guitar) and Jack Downey ’23 (vocals, bass) hardly spent any time on the ground, while Cat Mazo ’19 laid down some tasty grooves on the kit. It was a spectacular end to a spectacular event.

After some deliberation, the judges (Father Justin Bolger O.P., Father Jordan Zajac O.P., and Father Simon Teller O.P.) came forward with their decision. The rankings: The Grapes and Freshman Year tied for third, St. Joe and the Dorms came in second, and The Hopeless Romantics took home first place. Big congratulations to them. Make sure to follow all these bands on social media and stay tuned regarding their activities going forward.

The Breeze Blows McPhail’s Down: PC Students Shine in Local Band

by Jack Downey '23 on February 21, 2023
A&E Co-Editor

Arts & Entertainment

Last year, to kick off the spring semester, the Board of Programmers held an event in McPhail’s featuring The Breeze. Showcasing two PC students, Jordan McBride ’23 on keys and Julia Carson ’25 on vocals, the band delivered an electric performance that had everyone on their feet and dancing. They covered genres ranging from rock to pop to country, and they pulled each one off perfectly.

Recognizing how successful the event was, BOP brought The Breeze back for a sequel on Jan. 20, and they once again knocked it out of the park. They tore through songs such as Paramore’s “Still Into You,” Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats,” and Olivia Rodrigo’s “Good 4 U.” The crowd was constantly moving and singing along.

Throughout the course of the performance, each band member displayed an incredible amount of enthusiasm and energy. Even McBride was jumping up and down behind his keyboards. This only enhanced the crowd’s admiration, as they often jumped and danced with the band as they played.

The band ended the main portion of the concert with a roaring version of “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey. While this song is constantly covered, The Breeze truly did it justice. It had power and passion behind it, and when it ended, the audience immediately demanded more. The band responded with performances of Van Halen’s “Eruption,” Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird.” The latter is often considered a joke song, mainly because errant concertgoers love to request it no matter who is playing. However, like with “Don’t Stop Believin’,” The Breeze took the classic and did it more than justice.

Carson shared lead vocals with her brother, Ben, adding an extra sense of dynamism to the first portion of the song. Prior to the second verse, McBride performed a masterful keyboard solo. While initially it was meant to be a short display before the vocals resumed, the crowd continued cheering him on, and the band happily obliged. Later on came everybody’s favorite part of the song: the guitar solo. As the tempo changed, the air was charged as everybody let go of their last vestiges of energy and demolished the dance floor. The band tore through the rest of the song like a runaway train before ending and coming to a crazy finish. With that, the audience went back to their dorms, happy and ready for more.

And more is about to come. As astute audience members have noticed, there are various flyers posted around giving the details of The Breeze’s next show. They will be taking the stage at The Met in Pawtucket, RI, on Feb. 3. Joining them will be St. Joe and the Dorms as well as The Grapes, formerly known as Jack Wilmot and Co. The concert is sure to be as electric as the most recent one in McPhail’s, if not more. The last Met show was a huge success, so don’t miss the next one!

Dancing in the Dark

by John Downey '23 on March 3, 2022
A&E Co-Editor

Arts & Entertainment

Dancing in the Dark

Silent Disco Proves to be a Massive Hit

Jack Downey ’23

When BOP and WDOM unveiled their joint event, a “silent disco” at McPhail’s, Providence College students’ confusion was evident. Not many people knew what a silent disco entailed. This mystery, however, built excitement for the event. As the date of the disco, Feb. 25, drew closer, students’ anticipation was palpable. Nonetheless, the question remained: how much of this intrigue would turn into attendance?

It turns out that a lot of it would. One look into McPhail’s during the course of the disco provided quite a spectacular sight: a crowd of people adorned with large, brightly-colored headphones dancing and singing to music that only they could hear. Aside from the sounds of shoes sliding on the floor and the excited murmur of voices, the event lived up to its name, as music could not be heard outside of the event.

The light show on display added a lot to the event. Along with the multicolored headphones that attendees wore, the disco also featured blinking glasses, light-up rings, and lasers that moved along the ceiling and walls. Overall, the visuals harkened back to the days of middle school parties, conjuring images of a bunch of tweens running around in a school gym to the sounds of Avicii and Katy Perry as rainbow colored lights flashed in all directions. Indeed, the event certainly brought on a feeling of nostalgia.

There is no way anyone can write about a silent disco, however, without mentioning the music. One of the coolest parts of the event was a function on the headphones that allowed users to switch channels. Three different computers broadcast music at once, and those in attendance could move a switch to essentially turn the dial to another song whenever they felt like it. As a result, there was a variety of dancing going on at once, which made the event even more entertaining to witness. People enjoyed themselves with a variety of rap, hip-hop, alt rock, and pop tunes as the night progressed.

However, at certain points, DJ Kieran Kraus ’23 silenced the various channels in order to get everyone to listen to the same song. These tracks were typically ones with some type of dance associated with them, including “Cupid Shuffle” by Cupid, “Cotton-Eyed Joe” by Rednex, “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO, and “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” by Soulja Boy. This move turned out to be immensely successful, as the crowd all began doing the dances in unison. “Cupid Shuffle,” in particular, proved to be an amazing scene, as people slid to the left and right in sync as if choreographed. During moments like these, the night was elevated to another level.

By the time the silent disco began winding down, people clearly had no regrets in attending. Many of those who participated could be heard saying “this was a lot more fun than I expected it to be,” and “that was a really great time!” The public praise was especially meaningful because it showed that new and unique events, such as the silent disco, can work. WDOM and BOP are to be commended for breaking ground here, and, hopefully, new and unique ideas continue to make musical magic happen here at PC.

The Breeze Takes McPhail’s by Storm

by John Downey '23 on January 29, 2022
A&E Co-Editor

Arts & Entertainment

The Breeze Takes McPhail’s by Storm

The First Student Performance of the New Semester Did Not Disappoint

Jack Downey ’23

It has been a joyous return to Providence College’s campus so far this spring semester, despite the looming threat of the Omicron COVID-19 variant. This sense of joy was apparent at McPhail’s on Friday, Jan. 21, when local band The Breeze took over the student entertainment center and absolutely rocked the house.

Despite only being a group for six months, The Breeze exhibited remarkable talent. With its lineup consisting of two Providence College students, Jordan McBride ’23 (keys) and Julia Carson ’25 (vocals), the five-piece band—occasionally expanding to six when Carson’s brother Ben joined on vocals and guitar—blew through four hours of material spanning multiple decades and genres. 

The Breeze immediately captured the attention of the packed bar by opening with “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5. More and more people gave their attention as the band continued playing. At one point, Carson, who is also a member of PC a cappella group Strictly Speaking, called up Shannon Flaherty ’24 to perform a duet version of “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse, a performance that went over well with the crowd—particularly with other members of Strictly Speaking. 

As the night went on, the group played more and more hits. Songs by 5 Seconds Of Summer, Taylor Swift, and Miranda Lambert had people screaming along. The Breeze also performed an impressive medley of ’80s hits that included “Your Love” by The Outfield, “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield, and “Summer of ’69” by Bryan Adams. One standout from the group’s ’80s tracks was “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” by The Police, a surprising but tasteful choice.

However, the defining moment of the night was when the band played “Carry on Wayward Son” by Kansas. Starting the song off with a killer drum solo, the band’s opening notes had the crowd going wild. People stormed the floor and began dancing and headbanging to the rock and roll classic. After that moment, the crowd was fully in the palm of the band’s hand. They then played “The Real Me” by The Who, another deep cut that impressed any rock aficionados in the audience. The rendition went on for quite some time, giving every band member a chance to show off their chops. The Breeze continued in the rock vein with their rendition of “Paradise City” by Guns N’ Roses. Members of the audience were stretching their vocal ranges to compete with Carson, who had no difficulty echoing the mighty vocal highs of Axl Rose.

In addition to their magnificent skills, the band was very energetic, with a stage presence that prevented people from looking away. Carson was a wonderfully charismatic singer, and even McBride was jumping up and down behind his keys. Despite the fact that there were other events going on around campus that night, the crowd had hardly diminished by the halfway point, as people could not get enough of the energy that emanated from the stage.

Overall, the show was a phenomenally good time, and it was certainly a performance that people will be talking about for a long time to come. Needless to say, PC students look forward to The Breeze’s return, not to mention the concerts at McPhail’s that are to come this semester.

WDOM’s Karaoke Event Provides a Night of Entertainment

by The Cowl Editor on November 18, 2021

Arts & Entertainment

WDOM’s Karaoke Event Provides a Night of Entertainment

Laughter Abounds as PC Students Show Off Their Musical Talents

Jack Downey ’23

On Saturday, Nov. 6, WDOM hosted a karaoke night in the legendary McPhail’s student entertainment center at Providence College. Considering there were several events going on that night, particularly the men’s hockey game against University of Massachusetts Amherst, karaoke night was projected to be small but lively. However, by the end of the night, McPhail’s was packed. Originally, the event was only supposed to go from 7-9 p.m., but due to the constant stream of people entering McPhail’s to either watch or participate, it went later, a development that nobody seemed to mind.

Starting off the night were Caitlyn Mitchell ’24 and Anna Carlson ’24, who performed “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse. The song was a crowd-pleaser and helped set the tone for the night. Following this was Alex Sateriale ’24, who shocked everyone in attendance by rapping along to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.” Sateriale was remarkably on point throughout, and his performance earned a very warm reception.

As the night progressed, the acts continued to entertain. Colin Prancl ’24 and Jack Wright ’24 belted out “Drops Of Jupiter” by Train, which had many in the audience laughing. Father Justin Bolger went up and sang along to “Takin’ Care Of Business” by Bachman Turner Overdrive, which garnered a particularly appreciative response from those in Peer Ministry. Another act that hyped up the crowd was Jason Sgroi ’24, who took the stage to perform “Whatcha Say” by Jason Derulo.

Something of note was the number of Taylor Swift songs performed at the karaoke night. Perhaps inspired by the hype for the then-upcoming release of Red (Taylor’s Version), or simply a result of PC students’ love for all things Swift, there were approximately five songs from her discography performed throughout the night. These performances were less about entertainment and more about the emotion and nostalgia that the songs held. Each rendition earned a positive reaction from the crowd.

However, the performance that arguably had the most people talking was by Brendan Downey, a high school student and prospective Friar. He sang “99 Luftballons” by German band Nena. The twist was that he chose to work with the original German version, not the English translation. Surprisingly, his German was quite good, as was his ability to hype up the crowd. His dance moves, which only added to the comical absurdity of the situation, had people in hysterics. Downey would go up twice more throughout the night, once to sing “Blue (Da Be Dee)” by Eiffel 65 with yours truly, then once to perform “Steady As She Goes” by The Raconteurs with myself, Mitchell, and Adri Migliore ’24.

As the night drew to a close, the members of the WDOM executive board who were present went up and performed the forever classic “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey. It was a touching moment even if it was also somewhat funny; there were only three mics available, meaning several people simply had to shout the lyrics over the prerecorded track. The true finale, however, was “Closing Time” by Semisonic, performed by Ryan Peduto ’25. During this song, people hopped onto the stage and sang along, joined arm in arm. And, with that, WDOM’s karaoke night concluded.

The reaction to the event was so positive that people were demanding a second night, so be sure to follow WDOM on Instagram and keep an eye out for another karaoke night next semester.

PC’s A Capella Groups Face Off in a Riff Off

by The Cowl Editor on October 7, 2021

Arts & Entertainment

PC’s A Capella Groups Face Off in a Riff Off 

Pitch Perfect-Inspired Event Draws Music Fans to McPhail’s

Grace Whitman ’22

On Thursday, Sept. 30, Providence College’s three A Cappella groups, Special Guest, Strictly Speaking, and Anaclastic, competed head-to-head in their annual Riff Off. Hundreds of students packed into McPhail’s, with standing-room only starting 30 minutes before the Riff Off began. Hosted by Board of Programmers’ Olivia Lescinskas ’22, the event started off with a spin of a wheel containing three song categories, one for each of three rounds: “TV Show Theme Songs,” “Love Songs,” and “Throwbacks.” The winner of each round was to be determined by which group earned the loudest cheer from the audience in McPhail’s. 

The contest was not quite held exactly how it was in the Pitch Perfect movies, which provided the inspiration for the event. In the films, different groups interrupt one another with different songs, joining the last word of one song with the first word of a new song. At the McPhail’s event, in contrast, PC’s A Cappella groups were given each round’s category and asked to perform a song in that category. 

Special Guest hit the stage first, belting out the theme song from Phineas and Ferb. It was a funny way to start off the night, with the crowd singing lyrics like “Come on, Perry!” back at the group. The next song came from Anaclastic with their rendition of “Leave it All to Shine,” a mashup of the iCarly and Victorious theme songs. Although the audience certainly enjoyed both renditions, the clear winner of the first round was Strictly Speaking with their performance of The Rembrandts’ “I’ll Be There for You,” more commonly known as the Friends theme song, led by Sorieba Fofanah ’22. 

After a quick break, during which the audience snagged some Insomnia Cookies, the show was back for the second round, which was dedicated to love songs. It opened with Anaclastic performing “Love Story” by Taylor Swift. Next, Strictly Speaking sang “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder. 

While both groups finished to raucous applause, it was the all-male group, Special Guest, that slammed the door shut on the competition with their rendition of Silk Sonic’s “Leave the Door Open.” Christian Willett ’24 and Nolan Donato ’22 brought Bruno Mars’ suave to the stage and the rhythm and beat created by the rest of the group had the audience enthusiastically voting for them to win that round. 

The final round was dedicated to “throwback” songs. In a clever homage to Pitch Perfect, Strictly Speaking sang Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone”—much more eloquently, however, than the auditioners in the movie performed it. Special Guest’s final song, “Mambo No. 5,” was led by Dougie Schettino ’23. “Mambo No. 5” was the perfect song for Special Guest to showcase their vocal abilities and pull the audience into the performance. Indeed, what sets Special Guest apart is their ability to get a crowd excited about their performances and about A Capella in general. 

Anaclastic closed the Riff Off with a throwback to 1996. Their performance of “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls, led by Maddie Rich ’24 and Caleigh Lynch ’23, earned the loudest applause of the final round, resulting in a revote for the entire event. 

Although there were certainly loud cheers for all the groups and it was hard to truly measure how much applause each received without a decibel meter, Strictly Speaking was crowned the winner of the 2021 A Capella Riff Off. 

Be on the lookout for more events hosted by the A Capella Club this semester, including their fall concert. 


Listomania: New Milkshake Flavors for McPhails

by The Cowl Editor on October 10, 2019


The blood of my enemies


Only toppings

Sour Patch Kids

White Claw

Apple cider

Pumpkin spice

Mystery ;)

Ray leftovers

Jungle juice

Mint Juul pods

McPhail’s popcorn

Chicken nugget (broccoli topping option)

Four Loko

Tide Pod

Insomnia Cookie

A full night’s sleep


Yuck Truck

Liquid cheese

New Food Options at PC

by The Cowl Editor on September 14, 2017


New Food Options Available in McPhail’s and Beyond

By, Gabriella Pisano ’18

Assistant News Editor

a photo of two girls eating mozzarella sticks in McPhail's
Nick Crenshaw ’20/ The Cowl

From the ongoing construction on Albertus Magnus Hall to the transformation of Guzman Hill, Providence College students are used to seeing changes to the campus. While construction projects mark physical changes, there are other changes happening at PC, including the availability of Allie’s Donuts and the serving of food in McPhail’s.

Last semester when Sandella’s closed, students were given an upgraded dining option with the opening of the Eaton Street Café, located in the Arthur F. and Patricia Ryan Center for Business Studies. Changes in food options at the College haven’t stopped there.

Allie’s Donuts are now sold at the Eaton Street and Ruane Cafés. Allie’s Donuts, a small bakery in North Kingston, Rhode Island, is known for their delicious, and often colorful sprinkle-topped donuts. Thrillist named the bakery one of the 33 “Best Donut Shops in America.”

The two cafés on campus now supply a variety of types of Allie’s donuts Tuesday through Friday. For $2.49 students, faculty, and staff can purchase an Allie’s donut of their choosing. Ashleigh Arenas ’18, a Rhode Island native, said, “It’s great to see a Rhode Island staple here on campus.”

Student responses have been highly positive. “Having Allie’s Donuts at Ruane Café has been wild. Students are losing their minds,” said Emma O’Rourke ’18, student employee at Ruane Café.

“Eli  Estavez and the Sodexo Team worked so hard to make this happen and we sell out almost every night. These donuts are definitely taking Friartown by storm!”

Milkshakes, beer, mixed drinks, and free popcorn are available at McPhail’s, but that is nothing new. Starting this past Monday, September 11, the on-campus bar is serving food cooked and served on site. The new food options in McPhail’s include chicken tenders, mozzarella sticks, and personal pizzas.

While most of these food options are available in Alumni Dining Hall, student employee at McPhail’s Kelsey Doyle ’19 said, “With the option to serve food at McPhail’s, a greater customer base is served. It’s for the kids!”

Selena Ainzuain ’17, McPhail’s staff supervisor spoke to another benefit, stating, “Now when someone is having a drink, they don’t need to leave to go get food. Instead, they can keep socializing and eat right here.”

Though excited about the new food options, Doyle urged students not to forget $2 milkshake Wednesdays. Doyle said, “Don’t forget to come down on Wednesday nights to enjoy $2 milkshakes with your McPhamily!”

In the early 2000s, food was available for order at McPhail’s, but since the bar does not have a kitchen food was cooked and served in Alumni Dining Hall. Trish Swanson ’18G, graduate assistant at McPhail’s, explained that ordering in McPhail’s was put to a stop because there was often confusion when food was ordered from McPhail’s and picked up in Alumni.

With a small oven that thoroughly cooks food located right in the bar, confusion can now be avoided when ordering food. Food will be available during regular hours.

“In recent years there weren’t food options, since all we had in the past was popcorn. The food options now available are really for the convenience of students enjoying time in McPhail’s. There are now more options available for students of all ages, not just students 21+,” said Swanson.

Student holding box of donuts at Ruane Cafe.
Photo Courtesy of Emma O’Rourke ’18