Mario Hernandez, band manager for the Yuma County, Arizona group Los Chicos del 512, describes the show they’ll perform Friday at The Backyard as more of a “Selena experience” than a tribute.
The difference is that a tribute would have lots of hits by Tejano star Selena Quintanilla — songs like “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom,” “Amor Prohibido” and “Como La Flor” — while Los Chicos del 512, fronted by singer Evelyn Molina, updates what’s supporting her vocals
“We try to preserve the same essence, but the sounds are not so ‘80s. It sounds modern, more lively,” he said. With Molina, a contestant of “La Voz Mexico,” the Mexican version of the television vocal competition “The Voice,” the show that Los Chicos put on tries to answer the question “What would Selena be doing now?” he said.
The Texan Quintanilla was the rare Tejano-pop crossover sensation during her short career in the 1980s and ‘90s before she was shot to death in 1995 at the age of 23.
The Arizona group updates the instrumental backing of Selena’s greatest hits by replacing a drum machine with three percussionists .
The result has enabled the Selena tribute — er, Selena experience band to expand from its Arizona and southern California base to Texas, New Mexico and the Midwest with an East Coast tour in the works.