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Heist Fest 2005- This is What it’s All About

Originally Published: Tuesday, June 7, 2005
Written by: Vanessa G Rojas 

Heist Fest 2005- Hammond, Indiana

An Unexpected Turn at the Fest

Slumlords are on stage, people are dancing, shouting along, having a great time.  All of a sudden some punches are thrown for NO reason, and the band tries to calm people down. I’m not giving details of the fight.  That’s not the important part.  The cops come, “SHOWS OVER!”, they shout.  Is this the end of what should have been an amazing hardcore fest? Or do the hardcore kids bring it together?

Disappointment and Hope

I’m thinking, ” I just drove 6 hours for this fest, and now the bands that I really want to see aren’t even getting a chance to play.”  Not just that, I won’t be so selfish.  Lockin’ Out bands- Righteous Jams(a couple of songs were to be played minus the fact that the vocals weren’t able to make it out, but what are friends for, it was covered.), Mental, and Wrong Side are setting up for their split sets.  This is when the cops showed up and called the show-off. Many of us stood there in disbelief.  The bands had driven 16 hours to play.  Just three bands left, why couldn’t they let it go on?  They don’t close down bars when 2 people punch each other.  Just get rid of them and let the show go on. Not likely that evening.  As we walk out there is some talk of trying to get someone to have the show in their basement.  A bunch of us are huddled around and someone asks, how many of you would come out if we had the show in a basement?  We all shouted our approvals and raised our hands.  Phone calls were made. Everyone was trying to figure out what to do and not let the cops know what we were doing. 

The Basement Show Solution

I walk away for a moment to take a phone call.  As I’m talking, all of a sudden a group of people all start shouting and giving high fives.  I make the assumption that we have a basement.  I assumed correctly.  People are shouting out directions.  I get half of the directions and some girl’s phone number in case I get lost.  We had to leave then since the cops were making weak threats at us.

Journey to the House

The house is 15 minutes away.  We have six people in our five-seater car.  On the way to the house, you can look into other people’s cars and judge who is headed to see Mental and the other bands.  There are multiple mini caravans of someone following someone else who isn’t quite sure where they are going.  We drive by 3 cars pulled off to the side, trying to figure out where they are going.  We roll down the window and shout out the road name they need to turn on.  We get to that road and all think, “How the fuck are we going to get away with this?”  It’s a nice neighborhood with houses not too far apart.  Fuck ’em!  At least we’ll try and let the show go on as long as possible. 

The Show Goes On in a Crowded Basement

We walk into the basement and this place is small.  I’m bad at eyeing out measurements, but we packed that basement full.  We walk to the back of the room and watch the place start to fill up.  My friend and I are sitting against the wall talking.  We talk to another guy next to him and find out they came out here from Kansas City.  The bands start carrying down equipment and we all start to clap and shout. To give you an idea about space, and the width anyways, once they set up, there was enough room on the sides of them to fit a row of one to two people.  I’m guessing there were about 70 people there but I could be way off.

An Unforgettable Experience

It’s getting really hot and stuffy in the basement. There are a couple of windows to open.  Luckily I’m standing next to one.  People start packing in and the band is almost set up.  I keep thinking, “This is gonna be fucking crazy!” I’m against the wall next to the bassist and thrilled that I have a perfect view and also thrilled that I have earplugs. First,  Righteous Jams is up, well most of RJ. It’s amazing.  Everyone is shouting along.  People are crowd surfing in a place with a ceiling that is maybe 7 feet high.  You would think that crowd surfing would get really fucked up, but somehow everyone managed to keep it under control. 

We were all pouring sweat and packed in so tightly.  We all had huge smiles on our faces.  Stop and Think, Invasion, The Wrong Side, and Mental songs were played.  I lost track of time but I think it lasted for an hour.  Gradually, wait not gradually, very quickly we were covered in our own and the sweat of others smashed against us.  People were throwing their shirts at other people in the corner.  I said “Fuck it! I’m wearing a sports bra!” and off with the shirt as other girls cursed that they didn’t have on “proper” undergarments.  A jug of the best-tasting water that we had ever had was being passed around.  All of the bands played amazingly well, despite the fact that we were all pressed up against them.  The singers were dancing in the crowds with the mic.  Words, seriously can not explain how amazing that night was.  Yeah, I know I just typed a few of them to try to explain it, but seriously, the entire time,  besides “I’m sweating to death, I’m dying of thirst, This is fucking amazing, etc…” One other thing kept running through my head:

I want to send out a HUGE thanks to all of the bands that played, all of the people who were there and made this amazing, everyone who took pictures and filmed the event, the people who put on the Heist fest, the neighbors for not calling the cops, and an extra HUGE thanks for the person who let everyone come to his house and into his basement while his parents weren’t there!  (I think his name is Tommy.)


Written by vegane on 2005-12-14 08:56:25edit: the first bodø hardcore festival in 98 i think was in a rehearsalcell. fucking small
Written by vegane on 2005-12-14 08:55:23yeah girl! this is what hardcore is about! concerts in basements and living rooms and garages rock! (and barns! hooray)
Written by KAB on 2005-07-15 23:46:56Reading that gave me chills. I love hearing things like that. I hope I get to experience something as awesome as that.
Written by emptyXeyes on 2005-06-12 23:35:23thats totally what hardcore is about. i went to a show like that in PA once. the place got shut down and we all moved to some kids basement but since there were so many kids there they only allowed the kids from out of state to go in. PHEW! 
seroulsy, thats what its all about!

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