Rock and Roll Breaks the Ice: Frigid Friday Gets Heated at Latest Met Concert

by Jack Downey '23 on February 22, 2023
A&E Co-Editor

Arts & Entertainment

After last semester’s raucous celebration of local music that took place at The Met, the excitement for the next one was through the roof. The recent performance by The Breeze in McPhail’s only added fuel to the fire, and when the next Met show was revealed to be taking place on Feb. 3, anticipation hit a fever pitch.

However, there was a massive, unforeseen problem that appeared on the forecast. The problem in question: subzero temperatures the likes of which New England hadn’t experienced in a long time. Anyone who went outside this past weekend quickly found out that there was no exaggeration in what meteorologists were saying: the biting cold and fierce winds made it positively miserable to be anywhere but indoors. Because of this, there was an understandable fear that the turnout for the concert would be lower than expected. This could not be farther from the truth.

Doors were set to open at 7:30 p.m., but because the line outside built up so quickly, the venue actually opened to the public earlier than that. By the time music was set to begin, the place was already packed in a way that PC shows at The Met hadn’t seen in a while. Perhaps people thought that all the energy from the show would warm them up, or maybe the cold just didn’t affect them as much. Whatever the reason, people showed up in force for the event, guaranteeing a wild night.

The first band to take the stage was The Grapes, formerly known as Jack Wilmot and Co., known for their laid back vibe and intriguing repertoire of newer alternative rock mixed with older classics. However, for this performance, the band was dialed in and loud, leading to their best performance thus far. Lead guitarist Ryan Peduto ’25 was front and center in the mix, ripping solo after solo that had the crowd cheering at every note. Singers Jack Wilmot ’24 and Daniel Ruse ’24 both delivered excellent vocal performances, and Alex Rzehak ’23, Ava Dobski ’25, and Brendan Greene ’23 provided a solid backbone on guitar, bass, and drums, respectively. After such a performance, the crowd was thoroughly hyped up for the bands to come.

After The Grapes came St. Joe and the Dorms. It would certainly be a challenge for the rock n’ roll trio to match or top the energy they brought to the last Met concert, but they managed to put on a show that was wild and chaotic even for them. Leaping and running around the stage, as well as off of it, the band ran through classics by The Ramones, The Who, and The Clash at lightning speed. They performed these songs at such a speed that they actually ran out of material to perform and had to ask the audience for requests. The crowd was invested in every minute as Griffin May ’24, Jack Downey ’23, and honorary Friar TJ Johnson tore through songs old and new. They even got Father Justin Bolger, O.P. to introduce them!

The last act of the night was The Breeze. They also billed it as a reunion of their high school lineup,performing as Next Level. Whatever the name of the band, they brought a powerful performance to The Met that had the crowd swaying, jumping, dancing, and belting out the lyrics with the band. PC students Julia Carson ’25 and Jordan McBride ’23, on vocals and keys respectively, were at the top of their game, keeping every member of the audience engaged. The rest of the band consisted of Jacob Calamar on guitar, Ben Carson on bass and vocals, and Corey Hall on drums. Each of these musicians was also top notch, and together, the band formed a tight-knit unit that performed classic songs with energy and strength. Truly a fantastic closer to a remarkable night.

Overall, the evening defied expectations and was truly a hit. The next one is rumored to take place in May, so stay tuned!

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!

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.