John Schlitt; Live in Aizawl
The organizing team would first like to thank Mr. John
W. Schlitt and StoneJava for their time here in Aizawl,
and giving us not just one but two nights which are
never to be forgotten again.
GenX Entertainment, Chennai, called up Aizawl and got in
touch with the Hands for Christ (HFC) to organize the
event for two nights, May 20th and 21st and a
promotional night (19th May) where the local bands would
play and in which John Schlitt and StoneJava would make
a short appearance. HFC being young and hard core fans
of John Schlitt, were extremely excited about the verbal
agreement from GenX that all the expenses will be born
Soon, the talk was over and work began. The biggest
grounds in Aizawl, Lammual (same venue Petra used in
2004), was reserved for the event. Hotels were booked,
governmental permissions taken and publicity was as good
as it gets. Feedbacks received were full of
encouragements. Meanwhile, preparation for the
promotional night, named Revolution eXtreme, was going
on and all the major local bands, soloists and dancers
were busy preparing themselves in their respective
practice rooms. Everyone was excited by the prospect of
being on the same stage with John Schlitt and his band
to praise God together.
One major concern was the deadline to finish setting up
the stage; the organizers had only two days including
Sunday to get everything ready. On the Saturday of May
17th, 5:30 AM, the ground was packed with volunteers and
paid workers supervised by the organizers (HFC). Work
did not stop until 1:30 the next morning and four and a
half hours later at 6:00 AM Sunday, work began again in
earnest. Since it was the rainy season, it started
raining. Work had to be stopped. Come Monday at 5:30 AM
work started again. This was the day John Schlitt and
StoneJava were to reach Aizawl. Work at the venue
continued till 5:00 PM. The sound and light crews
started to hang their line arrays and their state of the
art lighting systems from noon, working along with the
At the airport, John was received, as was previously
requested by GenX, by only a handful of people, as they
were very tired from the previous concert in Bangalore.
Amazing show of energy shown by John Schlitt and
StoneJava at the airport though they had only a couple
of hours rest the night before.
Leaving the Band and crew at their hotel to refresh, the
organizers left for the venue and the start of the
The free concert, Revolution eXtreme, started with a
'worship dance' by Teenagers for Christ, dancing to a
medley of some three songs. They were followed by a
famous all girl vocal band VOHBIK accompanied by
musician friends. Liandingpuii, the only Mizo soloist
with an international album, took the stage after
VOHBIK. Sadly, two other soloists couldn't make it to
the show. However, the show went on with Abdiel, a
steadily improving band from Shillong, Anchovy, winner
of a few local awards, were next to rock the stage.
At this point, StoneJava was at the venue, all that were
present were thrilled to hear that they were willing to
'jam' with the local artists.
Willing but they came without their gears. So the locals
handed them their gears, they were ready. There had not
been any louder roars of applause in Mizoram as the
Event Manager welcomed StoneJava on stage. After each of
the StoneJava members gave their solos, and Jekyll and
Hyde and Just Reach out were sung with some of the local
artists. It was great.
A short message on mission strategies was given by an
American missionary, who came all the way from Thailand
just for the three night concert. Thank God for
dedicated men and women of God.
Now the stage was set for the locals again, EvenFlow,
Rusty's favorite, a new blues rock band but with
experienced players, took the stage after a dance was
performed by three beautiful and talented girls. The
time was right for Gothic Gospel, The Scavenger Project
was next in line, dressed in their specially designed
attires and presenting their very creative and
digitalized Gothic number, 'Run Away'. To make it even
more interesting, they were accompanied by dancers.
Back to good old solid rock, Incarnation, whose vocalist
was commented by John Schlitt (on his first visit) as
the most promising voice in Mizoram, did storm the stage
as they rock away two of their hit singles. StoneJava
was given their demo.
How about progressive rock? Oh yeah, that too. Drop
Doubt, last but not least gave what was to be their last
performance of the year. The crowd joined in as they
played their greatest hit 'Take Away' and a progressive
and 'hard to follow chords' theme song 'Drop Doubt'.
It was almost time to call it a night; there was only
time for the most awaited worship team, CrossPride, to
lead the people into worship. It was nearly 11:00 PM by
now, but the crowd was extremely excited worshipping and
praising God. Some even tried climbing the stage to
shake the hands of the few Mizo youths who have
dedicated their talents and life only to glorify God.
Having the stage reset for the main event the next day,
preparations were on its way again. Prayers to calm the
rain were the most common prayer item among the prayer
warriors. Anyway, temporary roofing was made for the
stage, but Praise God for His faithfulness to answer
heartfelt prayers, there was absolutely no rain for all
the three nights.
The first night, Tuesday May 20th, time was closing in.
Surprisingly, not too many showed up. John Schlitt
arrived with the band and was ready. The show was
delayed hoping that there will be more people. Well, joy
to those who are present, the show must go on. What a
decent crowd though a few in quantity, the quality was
Godly. With a welcoming roar from the crowd the show
began. The sound from the south was exceptional and the
lights did their work. What really amazes the Mizos is
the way John and StoneJava showed their professionalism.
They came to this remote part of the world, took the
stage in front of a not so many crowd and yet did their
best to bless the crowd and yes, it was a big blessing,
No Doubt. None in the crowd sat even for one single
song. It was raising of hands, singing along, praising
and having fun with God brought on by John Schlitt among
The next day before the concert, StoneJava was taken out
to shop and sight seeing, having a great time.
The second night, there were a few more crowd the next
night. Most of the Assam Rifles Officers and their
families (Assam Rifles, the army who owns the
ground/venue) showed up too. We did not expect this
since they are not Christians. There are no reports of a
big crowd even for the second night but the biggest
miracle happened on this night. One of the army officers
gave his life to Jesus. This had never happened before
and no Mizo Christian has not or rarely reached this
high ranking officers. Praise God a soul has made his
first step towards the living God. As encouraging as
this may sound attempts to interact with the officer
Once again the small crowd that showed up was amazing.
Much like the previous night, it was fun and energetic.
This is as much as the credit goes to the quality crowd;
it was a fruit of the band's commitment to give it all.
After the concert, the organizers came to know that
someone (name with held) had prophesied over a local TV
channel that it was a Satanic band that was coming and
people should not be attending the concert. The female
said that the band that is to perform is using the name
of Jesus to glorify the enemy.
This piece of information was telecasted about two hours
before the show began for the second night.
Whatever was the cause for the few turn outs, God had
His way in the end, His ever winning ways. A soul has
found His step towards heaven. Praise God.
Overall, except for the turn out, the concert was a
success and even more successful spiritually.
Rock on John, rock on.