Ethno Technic

What: TGIF free concert

Where: Price Center Plaza

when: Friday, Nov. 3

Interestingly enough, Friday night’s concert may prove to be the university’s best of the year. This is one of those rare jewels in the rough that should restore some confidence in A.S. Programming for those tired of seeing, oh, say, Wyclef Jean or Black Eyed Peas for the umpteenth time. And the best part — the show is free.

The concert will open up with a 30-minute session from select members of the DJs and Vinylphiles Club and will then jump into Lost at Last, an “”ethno/techno”” fusion group. The concert’s location — outdoors in the Price Center Plaza — creates a perfect backdrop for the featured fire dancers, video projection effects and a supporting cast of musicians adorned with tribal body paints. It’s eye candy for the masses, a mini-Burning Man pulsing in the heart of campus. With the snowballing tension between the Palestinians and Israelis abroad and in our backyard, the concert has been dedicated to a hope for peace between these two peoples. Boom. A concert with a message.

But it doesn’t end with a couple of Beastie Boys calling for peace and then popping out five radio versions of “”Brass Monkey.”” Lost at Last is one of those groups that is as interesting to read about as it is to listen to.

The band formed in Maui and debuted its self-titled album at a venue on the slopes of Haleakala, a 10,000-foot dormant volcano. The three founding members — programmer and keyboardist Om, instrumentalist Deva Priyo and singer Jaya Lakshmi — enjoyed sellout performances on the islands, but wanted to take their message to the mainland.

“”It soon became clear that we needed to depart these peaceful shores, [so that] many more people could be part of the Lost at Last experience,”” said band manager Randy Niklason.

Lost at Last made a second home in Northern California as their eclectic electronic style appealed to San Franciscans. They eventually carved out a musical niche that they called “”planet hop.”” But it takes a little more to pinpoint their unique sound.

The group takes a polar approach to its music, blending “”ancient”” influences (Sufi, Vedic Indian, Afro-Mediterranean, Gypsy and American Indian) with modern (Goa trance, rock, funk, ambient, folk) musical styles. On record, Lost at Last carries a patchwork of hypnotic beats, textured by Lakshmi’s ethereal chanting and Priyo’s synthesized strings.

Their live shows are touted as something different altogether, with hand and set drums pounding away in full ecstatic effect. Heavy on the down beats with enough rave-esque climaxes to put a porn star to shame, Lost at Last perform ritualistically and orchestrate the ebb and flow of the audience’s energy.

With the supporting cast of fire dancers and projection screens geared for future flashbacks, the concert looks to be an intense night filled with techno-primitive fervor and festivity. Sun God should take notes.