Stuartstock 2023 is the Biggest Yet

by Jack Downey '23 on May 30, 2023
A&E Co-Editor

Arts & Entertainment

On April 22, Providence College’s radio station, WDOM, held its annual music festival: Stuartstock. Each year, the club invites student performers of all genres to play for their peers. Over the past few years, the event has quickly grown in size, partially as a response to the pandemic shutting down events, including those featuring live music. This year, the club outdid itself.

The roster for this year’s Stuartstock boasted an impressive 12 acts. There were singer-songwriters, bands, rappers, and even some friars. The event truly had something for everyone. The lineup started with singer-songwriters: Alex Sateriale ’23, Caleigh Lynch ’23, Matty Reynolds, and Ben Guisto ’24 and friends (Reid Keiper ’24, Nick Grilli ’24, and Lily Amadio ’24). DJ Kraus House (Kieran Kraus ’23) changed up the vibes before the bands took the stage: Timeless, The Grapes, The Hopeless Romantics, St. Joe and the Dorms, and Freshman Year. The final acts of the day were KPTN KLEO (Kari Robles ’23) and The Hillbilly Thomists, featuring Father Justin Bolger, O.P. and Father Simon Teller, O.P.

Another aspect of the festival that was different from past Stuartstocks was the location. Typically, the concert takes place on Slavin Lawn with a small stage in front of  the Atrium. However, this time around, things were moved to Smith Lawn. Performers played on the brick patio in front of Smith Center for the Arts while audience members sat on the lawn or danced on the road in between. Public Safety actually shut down the traffic loop to prevent any problems, allowing people to stand on the bricks and asphalt without fear of oncoming traffic.

The two biggest obstacles facing the event were the weather, with ominous reports of rain appearing on the horizon as the day grew closer, and a country-themed darty that was taking place down the road. However, the rain held off for the most part, and the concert’s strategic location meant that those who wanted to go to the darty had to walk by the performances. This led to many curious students stopping, at least momentarily, to see what was going on, boosting WDOM’s numbers and leading to more engagement overall. It also meant the two food trucks present, Presto Strange O and Haven Brothers, had no trouble with sales.

Overall, the event was a huge success. Every single act brought their A game, with the gray skies being colored in by soaring harmonies, sweet guitar melodies, pounding drums, and rumbling bass. It was an event where people tried new things, with some inviting up guests who had not performed in front of people before. Most notably, The Hillbilly Thomists went electric for their set, with Fr. Justin Bolger, O.P. picking up an electric guitar and an ensemble of students backing them up. It was an exciting closer for an exciting event, and it only shows how much live music is continuing to grow at Providence College.

Back in 2017, there were three acts total at Stuartstock. In six years, that number has quadrupled. Who knows, maybe we’ll have 48 acts by 2029!

Keep Calm and Rock On

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

Arts & Entertainment

A Call to Arms (Instruments) for Providence College Students

Last year, something glorious happened at Providence College: a music scene began to emerge.

After a large drought during which WDOM’s Stuartstock disappeared for several years and the number of bands on campus was at an all-time low, student musicians came together and formed groups. Concerts happened at The MET in Pawtucket, RI as well as on campus, and for a moment, new music blossomed at PC.

However, with some musicians graduating and others going abroad, it appears that the short-lived music renaissance has taken a blow.

What is to become of the concerts at McPhail’s? Will live music still ring out at the events hosted for each class? Last year, the student body was more receptive to live music than ever before, with concerts packed with enthusiastic revelers. Is it possible to reach these heights again?

The answer to this question is yes.

Now that live music has revealed itself as a dominant force on campus, the chances of it going away are slim. Despite the semester not even being a month old, there have already been instances of live music at PC. For example, St. Joe and the Dorms, a wild party band that has been rocking PC since 2021, took the stage at McPhail’s during casino night and tore the roof off the building with high octane covers of classic songs. Two of the members even suffered injuries during the crazy two-hour concert. The next day, Timeless, another band featuring members of the PC community, serenaded Eaton Street with well-known hits for hours.

There is also an entirely new group of potential musicians that have moved onto campus: the Class of 2026. Many of these students most likely play instruments, but not all of them know of the opportunities that are present for musicians here at PC. The best advice for these people is that there is no time like the present. Seriously.

With students responding so positively to live music in the past year, as well as the unveiling of the new music technology and production major, PC is embracing music more and more, which is fantastic to see. However, this can only continue as long as people are taking advantage of what is in front of them. Talk to musicians at events. Jam with people in Smith Center for the Arts. Write and perform music. Music is a universal language, and it is one that PC is just starting to become literate in.

PC’s Pep Band is probably the biggest example of music bringing people together on campus. Their powerful renditions of hit songs get everyone excited at sporting events, including the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. If you are a musician looking to get involved at PC, the Pep Band is the perfect place to start, particularly if you play a low brass instrument such as trombone. The atmosphere at games is electric, and you’ll have the best seats in the house!

Music is one of PC’s hidden gems, and if you want to take part in it, the perfect time to start is now.

The Day The Music Came To Life

by John Downey '23 on May 6, 2022
A&E Co-Editor

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.