Concert Kicks Off Series

Despite high attendance expectations and a history of playing to sold-out arenas, Lost at Last performed Friday night in the Price Center Plaza to a consistent crowd of approximately 100.

The Maui-based band, which dedicates its shows to a resolution for the problems existing between Israelis and Arabs, was brought to campus by the A.S. Council as part of the school’s “”Thank Goodness It’s Friday”” concert series.

“”I thought they were awesome,”” said A.S. Programmer Cassie Williams. “”They definitely have a lot of skill.””

Though many in attendance had not previously heard of the band, most were satisfied yet surprised by the concert.

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“”I think they were pretty good, with a nice beat,”” third-year medical student Bret Neiderman said. “”I thought it was a bit underpopulated, though. I thought it would be a lot more crowded for what it was.””

Williams attributes the small turnout to the lack of interest UCSD students have when it comes to new bands.

“”People want to see what they already know,”” Williams said. “”They are not going to come, regardless if what I bring in is quality.””

However, some students believed that the unexpectedly small attendance was more a problem stemming from the school itself.

“”This school has no school spirit,”” Warren Senior Austin Kennedy said. “”The students have to get involved.””

Kennedy also said the little publicity he saw for the show must have been a factor in the diminutive crowd size.

“”I haven’t seen any flyers at all,”” he said. “”It sucks for kids who like this music and didn’t get to go because they didn’t know about it. The school needs to be promoting stuff like this.””

Williams was surprised and disappointed by this allegation.

The programming office stated that it put up flyers all throughout the Price Center and Library Walk, in addition to going to the majority of the on-campus residence halls to pass out flyers for the show.

“”I think the concert was marketed to the best of A.S. Council programming committee’s ability,”” Williams said. “”There were flyers and paper everywhere, there was a campus-wide e-mail and there was a lot of word of mouth.””

The band members, however, did not mind the small crowd, saying that the loyal fans they did entertain loved their performance.

Williams said the group was given the option of not playing because of the small crowd, but it chose to perform to those did come.

“”We like to find good in all the shows we do,”” drummer Daniel Paul said. “”It was a nice, intimate crowd. I think they were all hypnotized and they stuck to us.””

The remaining band members enjoyed playing a smaller venue, as it gave them an opportunity to experience an atypical crowd.

“”It was a lot of fun,”” pianist and guitarist Timi said. “”It was definitely a challenging crowd. I like that people didn’t know anything about this kind of music.””

The band’s view of the area was equally positive.

Deva Priyo, who plays over 10 different instruments throughout the show, said he enjoyed performing because of the feel that exists around the school.

“”Though I can’t really make a strong opinion of [San Diego], it has a nice community, a nice family and a nice vibe,”” he said.

Williams said the fact this type of music is not mainstream may have contributed to the small attendance.

“”I decided for the first [TGIF], I wanted to test the waters of this school,”” she said. “”I know now that this school only responds well to top-40 stuff.””

The band classifies its music as “”ethno-techno,”” in that it combines current dance and trance music with lesser-known foreign instruments such as the sitar, tabla, conga and djembe.

“”The music puts you on a carpet ride,”” Priyo said. “”The music takes you away on a journey. It is quite powerful.””

However, the unusual nature of the songs is what interested many in the crowd.

“”I like the fact it gets me in a peaceful state of mind,”” said Esthela Becerra, visiting from Mount. St. Antonio College in Los Angeles. “”I like the fact it is different. You can interpret it in your own words.””

Because those in attendance did enjoy the concert, Williams said that a band such as this would be better suited to play during a big festival when there are headlining bands also present.

“”This would have been great for a show like that,”” Williams said. “”Students would be forced to expand their horizons.””

However, Becerra felt that the lack of energy and attendance of the crowd prohibited her from losing herself in the performance.

“”Maybe there would have been more energy with more people,”” she said. “”I think if there were, I would be in more of a mood to dance.””

Williams said the lack of dancers at the show may have occurred due to the concert’s early starting time of 7:30 p.m., before which the DJs and Vinylphiles Club spun for one hour. A later starting time might have attracted more dancers.

Those in attendance expressed enjoyment of the TGIF and said they would attend another concert next quarter for its cultural benefits.

“”This definitely has the potential to bring a lot of people together,”” Becerra said. “”With a variety of concerts like this one, it would be easier to understand other people’s cultures.””

The next TGIF is set to take place in February, in conjunction with Black History Month and the Student of Color Conference.

In addition, the A.S. Council is holding a “”Nooner”” concert Wednesday, with a possible guest appearance by ’80s music star Tiffany.

The A.S. Council has plans to start a dance club, slated for Friday nights in Porter’s Pub throughout the next two quarters.

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