Band member uses reality show to promote music

By Megan Hurt

Most bands don’t promote themselves with baseball caps.

When musicians promote their bands they normally send out a press release and do a few shows at small bars. But Erik Huffman helped expand the fan base for his band FLOREZ by wearing a FLOREZ baseball cap on national television during his run as a contestant on the latest season of “Survivor: China.”

Since returning home from the competition, where he was three tribal councils away from winning $1 million, Huffman along with his fellow band mate Alex Florez discovered a larger fan base, thanks to the FLOREZ hat.

Students can discover FLOREZ and become a fan themselves tonight at 8 when the band performs outside on the Student Center front lawn, as part of Backyard Beats concert series, a free event sponsored by the Student Activities Board.

“After hearing them at a national convention in February I decided they would fit perfect with the vibe we’re trying to achieve with the Backyard Beats series,” said Louise Cincala, director of concerts for the SAB.

The series is a laid back, fun, light atmosphere centered around friends and good music, Cincala said.

FLOREZ is comparable to The John Mayer Trio, Weezer and Gavin Degraw, who they opened for in 2005, according to their official website. But even with the comparison, Cincala finds uniqueness in their style.“They mix up the lyrics by throwing in Spanish and French,” Cincala said.

The series, which is in its first year, features a different performer every other Wednesday. Today the SAB will also be giving away prizes during the FLOREZ event, including an iPod Shuffle, a picnic basket dinner for four people and free T-shirts, which are given out during every performance.

“Wednesday will be a great time to just kick back, grab some free things, and discover a new, great band,” Cincala said. “FLOREZ’s music is perfect for a relaxed fall weeknight with your friends.”