WCDB Fest 2022: A Celebration of Albany’s DIY Music Scene

Saturday April 9th, the University at Albany’s student run radio station, WCDB 90.9FM, hosted their 2022 WCDB Fest at the Albany Barn. The day’s events featured local artists, businesses and bands, while celebrating the efforts and accomplishments of all those involved. The student organized event lasted late into the night and included an art fair, eight live performances and an award show.

WCDB Fest 2022

Throughout the night, bands rotated on the stage, each playing 15-minute sets. The music for the evening kicked off with WCDB’s own DJ Riddick who played an electronic set before Jack Lynch took the stage for his own solo performance. The bassist played a seven string bass and had an arc of pedalboards and electronics before him while he looped some out of this world sounds.

The first band to take the stage was Grampfather. The Kingston based eclectic rock band’s album Gramppappies was nominated for WCDB Fest’s Best Album of the Year. Their set included ‘Poppies’ from the new album, which recently broke through 1,000 streams on Spotify. Canella followed Grampfather and were nominated for Rising Artist of the Year, as well Song of the Year with ‘Quiet Love.’ You can watch the music video for the single on Canella’s YouTube channel.


Canella were followed by Safety Meeting, who were nominated for Best Alt Rock/Indie Artist. The Saratoga band often play around Albany, and have an EP available to stream on Spotify. Following Safety Meeting, Mr. Every Day kicked off the first of two hip-hop performances. He opened his set with a passionate speech about his life, his family, and what music means to him. The intimate moment was followed by a high energy performance, priming the audience for a performance by Laveda.

The young shoe gaze band took the stage and immediately took control of the room. Their music had a beautiful blend of ethereal melodies over driving back beats, orchestrateed by familiar faces; Joe Taurone and Dan Carr of Canella. It was his second appearance on the night as he swapped between drums and bass (Dan would also appear on stage a third time, playing drums with Stella and the Reptilians). Laveda’s catalogue on Spotify includes a 6 track EP from their 2020 session with Audiotree. After Laveda, WCDB Fest’s Best Hip-Hop Artist, Scrambled performed a unique set. The Boston-based rapper began rhyming a-cappella while walking throughout the Albany Barn, projecting her voice throughout the room without any help from a microphone.


The evening ended on a high, with Stella and the Reptilians taking the stage right after taking home the Best Artist of the Year award. Everyone in the Barn was up on their feet for the final songs of the night, as bands and students alike were jumping and shouting along in celebration of not just Stella and the Reptilians, but in celebration of the WCDB community as a whole.

Stella and the Reptilians

Everyone present found themselves in the embrace of a tight-knit community of music lovers. WCDB Fest would not have been possible without the dedicated students who run the station, the musicians who are constantly creating and performing and the fans who create the demand for such an ecosystem to exist. Albany’s underground music scene is something to behold, and those who find themselves in a dirty, dusty basement will be glad they did. Every weekend you can catch a show whose music, energy, and excitement challenge those found at any mainstream venue in Albany. And with entry usually costing around $5, what’s the downside of checking out a basement show?

Rachel Freeman WCDB / Byrdhouse

If you are a music lover in Albany, or anywhere else for that matter, be sure to follow WCDB, the featured bands, and the music venues that are helping make Albany’s underground music scene flourish. You can find shows every weekend around the Capital District at The Byrdhouse, The Laundromat, Makeout Reef, Troy Speakeasy, Caesar’s Palace, and likely many more in the semesters and years to come. Also be sure to check out the gallery below for a full recap of WCDB Fest 2022.

WCDB Fest 2022 Award Winners

Best Punk/Hardcore Artist: Dirtybandaid

Best Country/Folk Artist: Beargrass

Best Electronic Artist: Soo Do Koo

Best Jazz Artist: Colleen Pratt

Best RnB/Funk Artist: The E-Block

Best Hip-Hop/Rap Artist: Scrambled

Best Alt Rock Artist: Senior Living

Rising Artist Award: Ladybyrd

Best Song: Quiet Love by Canella

Best Album/EP: Anniversaries by Senior Living

Best WCDB DJ: DJ Shmit

Music Scene MVP: Rachel Freeman

Best Artist of the Year: Stella and the Reptilians

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