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!

April Show(er)s

by John Downey '23 on April 8, 2022
A&E Co-Editor

Arts & Entertainment

April Show(er)s

A Multitude of Musical Events Coming to Providence

Jack Downey ’23

For fans of local music at Providence College, this article will surely put a smile on your face. This month, a number of concerts are set to take place in the city of Providence.

Later tonight, April 7, there will be a small indie rock concert at local bar and performance venue AS220. The acts featured are Orange Peel Mystic, Wave Goodbye, HiFi, and Moonbasket. Wave Goodbye and Moonbasket both feature Providence College students, so readers should definitely stop by to support their fellow students. The price of admission is $10.

April 8 is also set to be an exciting night, as local powerhouses Jade Tourniquet, Eclipse, and Area 401 will play a barn-burning show at Dusk, a cool venue on the outskirts of town. These bands, particularly Jade Tourniquet and Eclipse, are gaining some serious momentum in the scene and are sure to impress.

The performances only get bigger from there. On April 9 and 10, there will be concerts at Alchemy, one of Providence’s premier venues. The spacious room boasts a wide dance floor and a large, elevated stage. The April 9 concert features two touring bands, Bottom Bracket and Past Life, as well as local openers From Trees, The Gotham Lights, and grizzlies. This eclectic bill is sure to pack a punch and is definitely a must-see event. The April 10 show features an even wider array of music, including emo (Depopulate Montana), grunge (The Gotham Lights), rap (JDRevenge), and a mixture of all three (Trve Goth). 

The fun at Alchemy does not stop there, however. On April 13, hardcore legends 7 Seconds and Negative Approach will tear through the venue. Joining them will be local screamers Bullet Proof Backpack and Catalyst. Both of these Rhode Island-based bands have been making some big waves throughout the Northeast, so this show is bound to be pure, blissful chaos. If the ensuing mosh pits do not destroy the building, then Alchemy is indestructible. 

Towards the end of the month, a truly exciting event is set to take place in Providence courtesy of local booking company Small Victories Entertainment. Small Victories is known for their exciting and energetic events. For instance, they have hosted multiple shows at The Strand, one of the biggest venues in Providence, for acts such as Trippy Redd. On April 28 and 29, Small Victories is hosting a grand event: SVSW, or Small Victories Spring Week. The April 28 portion of the event will occur at Fete Music Hall and feature a stellar list of local bands, including Providence legend Chance Emerson and his band The Clementines, which is managed by Providence College alum Will Best ’21, crowd-pleasers Falling Walrus, and upcoming indie artist Spencer Barnett. Considering how crazy Thursday nights can get, this concert will certainly be able to hold its own.

The April 29 show is set to go even harder: on this night, the proceedings will take place downtown at the Strand. While the event’s lineup has yet to be announced, it will likely feature acts that are more oriented around an electronic sound, such as DJs. Tickets for this show—which are sold in tiers, with each tier consisting of different levels of access and exclusive opportunities—have been flying off the metaphorical shelves, with many all-access passes already sold out. It is without a doubt that Small Victories is one of the more professional booking agencies in the area, so these concerts are sure to be insane.

Finally, WDOM’s annual Stuartstock is officially set to happen on PC’s campus on the afternoon of April 29. While an official lineup has yet to be announced, based on the wide variety of musical talent at PC, this iteration of Stuartstock will be one to remember, with numerous acts ready to take the stage. In addition,  the Presto Strange-O truck will once again be making an appearance, and there will be pizza, cookies, and specialized merch available.

The day after Stuartstock is set to be even bigger, with BOP’s spring concert featuring pop star Quinn XCII. He will be performing an intimate set in Peterson Recreation Center, and PC students’ anticipation is through the roof.

There are many more musical events currently in the works at PC and throughout Rhode Island, but these events are sure to tide music fans over in the meantime. 

Calling All Musicians!

by John Downey '23 on February 10, 2022
A&E Co-Editor

Arts & Entertainment

Calling All Musicians!

Practice Space Available on Providence’s Bissell Street

Jack Downey ’23

Practice spaces are just as important for bands as instruments. Without a place to play, bands are unable to grow and flourish. A practice space might be a garage, a living room, a bedroom, or even a professional facility like JamStage in Pawtucket. However, there is a practice space in Providence that is truly something else.

Located on Bissell Street, across the highway from Cranston, this practice space is located in what can only be described as a factory setting. Upon turning onto the street, one is greeted by a looming building with dense walls and indifferent windows. The building is huge, spanning multiple side streets. Driving along the side of it, one will ultimately encounter a docking area for trucks, as well as a sheltered entrance. Within the latter is a steep ramp to a door which requires a key card to open. Once inside, there is a maze of hallways that ultimately leads to the Bissell Street practice space.

This might not sound promising, but the interior of this practice space makes the nondescript locale all the more worth it. The room includes a TV, a couch, plenty of light, and its walls are adorned with posters, drawings, and flyers. It also contains a plethora of sound equipment, including a mixing board with numerous tracks. Notably, such equipment is rarely seen outside of professional venues. The space also boasts many communal amps for guitar and bass available for use, not to mention a fleet of cables so that musicians do not have to bring their own.

The room’s PA system is also state of the art. For instance, microphones connected to the sound board can be equipped with delay and reverb, giving them extra depth. One almost feels as though they are singing their heart out in front of thousands of people. Furthermore, the room’s speakers boast incredible volume.

For those musicians looking for a practice space but concerned about the costs of renting one, fear not: the space on Bissell Street is communally run by the musicians who play there. Although there is a monthly rent payment, the cost is spread out across the tenants of the entire building. Thus, the more bands that utilize this space, the cheaper the rent is. At one point, it was as low as $16 per month, and split amongst band members, that is essentially $4 per person.

Although the Bissell Street practice space is largely off the grid, this does not hinder its quality at all. In addition to all of the aforementioned music-related amenities, it boasts heat during the winter and air conditioning during the summer—and there is a bathroom. Currently, this space is home to bands such as The Keegan Turner Band. Those interested in learning more about it can reach out to Keegan Turner on Instagram (@keeganturner123).