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!

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.

PC Wants the Airwaves: WDOM Continues to Grow in Popularity

by Jack Downey '23 on March 4, 2023
A&E Co-Editor

Arts & Entertainment

Most people you talk to will probably tell you that radio is a dead medium. However, Providence College students would tell you otherwise. The school’s radio station, WDOM 91.3 FM, has been steadily gaining a reputation as a club to be a part of.

This year, the club hit a milestone: every single time slot for shows was filled. Seven days a week from 6:00 AM to 2:00 AM, the airwaves will be buzzing with different PC student shows. Whether they will be dealing with music, sports, comedy, or just about anything, they’ll be heard on 91.3 FM.

Many of the shows are musically oriented. Fan favorites like The Coolest Beans, Rock and Roll for the Soul, and Deep Tracks bring listeners a wide array of rock and rock-related music. Other shows have themes that the hosts weave into the music that they play. For example, Tea Time (Taylor’s Version) is, as the name suggests, a Taylor Swift-themed show. Another example is the Time Machine, which plays music from only a certain year while also providing the listeners with historical facts about that time period. Some shows also tend to go for music that isn’t heard as often, such as the Great American Songbook, which focuses on jazz standards.

There are a plethora of talk shows to be heard on WDOM as well. Some of these, such as Go Long, Offsides, and Santis United discuss sports (football, hockey, and soccer, respectively). Other shows such as The Fellas are a bit more free form, where each episode features a different topic. One of the newer shows, Hepatitis Z, is a comedy show. The constantly expanding number of topics that are discussed on the air is a big reason for why the station is gaining more and more fans.

The overall atmosphere of the club is another reason. The ability to spend two hours every week either listening to the music that you want to hear or talking about something that you’re passionate about is fun and therapeutic. Even during the most stressful of weeks, hosting a show is something that most people can look forward to. At the end of the day, even if people aren’t listening, it’s still an enjoyable experience.

Finally, the station’s events have also increased awareness of and interest in the club. The two concerts that WDOM puts on each year, Tune In With WDOM in the fall and Stuartstock in the spring, are some of the biggest events on campus, highlighting not only student performers but also the work that the radio does. In recent years, more events have been added to the schedule, such as the silent disco that they co-hosted with BOP last year. The event was an unexpected hit that left attendees demanding a sequel, which is bound to happen sometime later this semester. There are also multiple karaoke nights, and there is even a Battle of the Bands in the works with BOP, so stay tuned! Also, be sure to check out WDOM and hear for yourself what the airwaves have to offer.

Providence College Students Tune In

by John Downey '23 on November 4, 2022
A&E Co-Editor

Arts & Entertainment

WDOM’s Events Continue to Get Better

On Oct. 28, Providence College’s radio station, WDOM, held its annual “Tune In With WDOM” event. Six student performers and bands performed for their peers in the crisp autumn air. While there was consternation about attendance due to the event falling on the first day of Halloweekend, Tune In turned out to be a massive success and a great time for everyone involved.

DJ Houseparty, a.k.a. Kieran Kraus ’23, kicked off the proceedings with a vibrant blend of songs that got people moving the minute they were within earshot. For the first 20 minutes of Tune In, the beats emanating from Kraus’s laptop echoed off the buildings surrounding Slavin Lawn, calling out to anyone in the area who was not already en route to the concert.

The music completely changed direction when Alex Sateriale ’24, the next performer, took the stage. With just an acoustic guitar, Sateriale played sparse, emotional versions of songs such as Foo Fighters’ “Everlong” and The Fray’s “How to Save a Life.” Many of Sateriale’s friends showed up to support him, and they were invited to sing along with him during the last song he performed, The Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris.” The sound of everyone singing together, whether they were in key or not, truly highlighted the togetherness of everyone who was in attendance. It was one of many nice moments of the event. 

After Sateriale came a trio under the name The Skimp, The Jamoke, and The Liar. Composed of Ben Guisto ’24, Reid Keiper ’24, and Nick Grilli ’24, the group pulled up some chairs, sat down, and immediately captivated the crowd with their remarkable vocal harmonies. Performing songs by Fleet Foxes, Coldplay, and The Beatles, as well as original material, the three brought to mind groups such as Crosby, Stills, and Nash, with their vocals flowing over a mix of guitars, tambourine, and piano. Recordings of the group’s original songs have become highly anticipated after the show; perhaps there will be a review of their music in a later article of The Cowl.

The performance by The Skimp, The Jamoke, and The Liar marked the end of phase one of Tune In, as the next three performances were by full bands. The first of these was The Keegan Turner Band. Featuring Keegan Turner on vocals and guitar (obviously), Colin McNamara ’25 on lead guitar, Jack Downey ’23 on bass, and Dennis Chadwick on drums, the group tore through six original songs. One of these songs, “Thrill of the Hunt,” was brand new and had never been played live before. The other songs included the band’s most popular single “Prequel Love” as well as the crowd pleaser “Take a Chance.” 

Coming on after The Keegan Turner Band was Freshman Year. The band consists of Maisie Cocker ’25 on vocals, Alonso Moreno ’25 on guitar, Mason Wasserman ’25 on guitar, Wesley Stephens ’25 on bass, and Ryan Peduto ’25 on drums. Cruising through songs such as The Pixies’ “Where is My Mind?” and Declan McKenna’s “Brazil,” the five-piece combo radiated confidence during their entire set. Towards the end, they even ventured into the crowd for a rendition of Cage The Elephant’s “Cigarette Daydreams.” Bathed in the glow of the stage lights, as well as the flashlights from people’s phones, the group truly ended their set in a blaze of glory.

Concluding the night’s festivities were the raucous stage antics of St. Joe and the Dorms. With the classic lineup of Griffin May ’24 on vocals and guitar, Jack Downey ’23 on vocals and bass, and TJ Johnson on drums, the group returned to their roots by playing a set almost entirely composed of Ramones covers. In rapid succession, they played “Rockaway Beach,” “Blitzkrieg Bop,” and “California Sun,” along with some deeper cuts. During their set, they displayed their usual high amounts of energy, running and jumping all over the place. There was even an instance of somersaulting on the ground in front of the stage. The night ended with a performance of the Dorms’ original “Sometimes I Think” as well as “Route 66.” As soon as they had appeared on stage, the band was off, and the show was over.

The event was a giant success for WDOM, with a larger stage and new sound system vastly increasing the quality of the concert. The fan favorite Presto Strange O truck also made an appearance, selling out almost as soon as they arrived. Overall, the night was incredible, and the anticipation for the next WDOM event is through the roof.

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.

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.

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.