March 14, 2005

Over 20 bands wanted to be in it. Eight bands successfully made it to the competition stage. Sunday, after two weekends of live showcases, five Tampa Bay area high school rock bands are heading into the Finals of FLARO9, the 9th Annual Florida Rock-Off.

FLARO is a more in-depth competition than a regular battle-of-the-band event, according to Producer Louis Philippe. Each competing band is evaluated for numerous elements in three main categories-Live Showcase Performance, Original Material and Marketability. ‘These bands are very fortunate to get the eyes and ears and scrutiny of many industry folks who volunteer on various judging panels.”

The five bands with the highest overall scores include: EFFUSION (Countryside HS, Clearwater); GOOD GRAEFF (Riverview HS, Sarasota); STRANGE BREW (Newsome HS, Lithia); TEN SPEED INDIAN (Cypress Lake HS, Ft. Myers); and UNEXPECTED GUEST (Jesuit HS/Tampa Catholic HS/Hillsborough HS, Tampa).

Several hundreds of fans and family supporters were on hand during the two showcases held at Boomerz Boiler Room in Seminole. The audience also enjoyed guest performances by HINDSIGHT from Crystal River HS; CHUMLEY’S TOY, a popular Tampa Bay band that participated in FLARO3 and has just released a new CD; and Reindeer Recording Artist ALTERIA from Maine.

The Finals are slated for Sunday, April 17, 2 PM, at Boomerz, where each band will present another live performance that will be evaluated by yet another panel of musicians and industry representatives, as well as by the audience. The winning band will earn the title of ‘Best Young Band in Central Florida” and receive $1,000 in cash from Reindeer Records plus a professional recording package donated by Hurricane Pass Studios.

Last year’s winning band, INITIAL DOUBT will make a guest appearance and will be on hand to announce the winners of this year’s event. The FLARO9 Finals are open to all ages. Tix are $10 door and $7 in advance, available from any participating band or by contacting Reindeer Records at 207/857-9002 or

FLARO is presented annually by Reindeer, a non-profit 501(c)(3) arts organization based in Portland, Maine (, in conjunction with this year’s industry partners Boomerz, Jackal Entertainment and Hurricane Pass Studios.



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