Fetish Lane Draws Huge Crowd at the Barge



Chris Neefus

The Barge hosted the second concert in its Saturday Night Music Series this weekend as the Colgate Activities Board (CAB) brought Fetish Lane to Hamilton. Opening for Fetish Lane was Johnny LeMasters and the Boys, featuring the Maroon-News’ own Editor-in-Chief Jeff Fein on guitar. The Boys kicked the night off with five songs including originals like “Blackout” and “15 All Over Again,” plus a cover of The Band’s classic “The Weight.”

That paved the way for the main event, a folk-rock quintet from the area whose members have been playing and writing together for over a decade. Fetish Lane might best be described as Crosby Stills and Nash meets OAR and seems to command just as loyal a fanbase. The Barge was packed with people to see Johnny LeMasters, but the standing room became increasingly scarce once Fetish Lane’s dedicated group of listeners and family members showed up to cheer them on and danced through a nearly three-hour set with impressive perseverance.

Lane didn’t fill that time with any dead air though — each song had a great melody, polished lyrics and accompaniment from not just drums and guitar but fiddle and even washboard. With catchy, offbeat song titles like “Snorkeling Through the Lilly Pads,” the band had The Barge up on its feet like it hasn’t been in a long time. It’s true; Fetish Lane’s successful state-wide touring is very much in the mold of groups like Dave Matthews Band, who began with the circulation of an in-studio demo. The atmosphere was reminiscent of one of those aforementioned jam band concerts on a smaller scale, with those fans that show up to each and every concert congregating and bonding. Fans said they’d all become friendly and Fetish Fest, a marathon concert at the Goodwin Homestead farm in Guilford, NY, that, according to the band’s official site, invites all families (provided they aren’t mean) to pitch a tent on the grounds and stargaze between sets. That was before they dove back into the miniature mosh-pit beside the band, to dance the rest of the night away. With a devoted following like this, it’s hard to imagine Fetish Lane’s fan base not growing even further.

What made their songs really memorable, aside from the diverse roster of instruments, was their ability to craft very sensual imagery (“Like cold steel on a hot summer day”), or construct a hook out of an elegantly simple line (“I’ve got one foot in the sand/ the other in midair, waiting to land”). With two self-financed studio albums already under their belts, these guys are ones to watch out for.

The CAB Saturday Night Music Series will continue all semester, with great performers appearing every weekend through April 21. That date will mark the CD release party for Johnny LeMasters and the Boys — with a more complete story on them sure to hit these pages soon after. In the meantime, music from two of Fetish Lane’s albums can be found available for downloading on iTunes.