UCF students belt 60s classic songs across Central Florida
While electronic and pop beats top the music charts, one student band is trying to bring back the oldies.
UCF students Danny and Mikey McCabe, along with their friend Jake Braun, took to the stage at Light Up UCF this month as The Pendletones to perform their renditions of holiday favorites in the style of artists such as Elvis Presley, Paul McCartney and the Beach Boys.
With Mikey McCabe on bass guitar, Danny McCabe on guitar and Braun on drums, the band opened with "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" followed by "Wonderful Christmas Time" and "Little Saint Nick."
But the band goes beyond their Christmas performance and hopes to light up the music scene in Orlando with little blasts from the past.
"We're Orlando's newest classic band," said Danny McCabe, a senior business and art double major.
The McCabe brothers grew up listening to classics and went to Epcot during the spring for to take in the theme park's oldies concerts. Even their name, the Pendletones, was inspired by the original name of The Beach Boys.
"We used to go there with our parents like all the time," said Mikey McCabe, a freshman engineering and music double major. "And we'd kind of soak in all the classics and everything."
Mikey McCabe and Braun met during their middle school years and played in jazz band together. They formed the bass and drum rhythm backbone needed in their songs.
When Olympia High School's Battle of the Bands was approaching in 2013, the two friends decided to form a band to compete. With the addition of Danny McCabe on guitar and vocals, the Pendletones began their journey in April 2013 at the Orlando high school.
After their first performance at the battle of the bands, they spent the following year building the perfect set and honing their performance skills. They returned the following year and won first place, with perfect scores from all of the judges.
But their music is not just a hit with judges, but also their friends and audiences as well. In the crowd during their Saturday night performance outside the CFE Arena were a number of friends of the band mates.
Drew Dobson, a friend of Braun from FSU, said that he loves to see his friend play the drums.
"I've heard him play drums once or twice, but I've never heard his whole band," Dobson said. "So it's awesome to hear them all together."
The Pendletones not only play classics from The Beatles and other popular 60s bands, but they record their own original music as well. While they are all in town for the holiday break, they plan on going into the studio and recording music.
Currently, The Pendletones are number eight on ReverbNation for rock music based in Orlando. Started in 2006, the website aims to help emerging artists build careers.
Although the band is unsigned, their music is available for download through ReverbNation. They recently recorded their brand new single called "Don't Ask Me," which will soon be available for download with Wholehearted Productions.