September 12th, 2006 Calcutta, India

CHRISTIAN RECORDING ARTIST PERFORMS IN MUSLIM DISTRICT

Phil Fischer, a Christian recording artist from Seattle , Washington performed a concert in Calcutta today at the mid-town soccer arena to an unknown attendance number.

As many as 25,000 may of been in attendance due to the fact that the arena only holds 12,000 so many of the fans and onlookers stood outside behind the fences where you could still see and hear the show.

There were actually more people outside the arena then inside so no one knows the actual number of people in attendance but I guess it was close to 29,000 by the end of his set as many people parked cars and walked over toward the music.

Its not often you hear electric guitars that sound like that in Calcutta and many people crowded the parking lot and parked on the grass causing a traffic jam.

The tragedy is that Fischer only managed to get off six songs before his license was pulled and Calcutta police stormed the stage and asked him to exit. Many were upset and threw bottles at the police vans but no injuries were reported.

The show was cancelled because Fischer’s production cum web development team in Calcutta , Nath Info Solutions , failed to pay the required license fees and also failed to pay for adequate security for the show. As a result, the city cancelled the show on the spot and asked him to exit the stage and even threatened him with expulsion from the country. They then used the microphone to announce the show was ended.

What I found to be particularly interesting about Mr. Fischer is not only that he sounded good, but also his message of Christianity was amazing. I am a Buddhist and I have never heard of Phil Fischer until I purchased tickets, but I have always been a fan of Seattle music and the whole “grunge" sound so I was eager to hear him and it was worth the 220 INR just to see him.

Many protested as Fischer left the arena and many ran to the Taj Bengal Hotel where security had to form lines as fans waited outside to get a glimpse of him but those that waited had to wait a long time because Fischer did not go to the Hotel after the show was cancelled.

I was lucky enough to grab a ride in the production van carrying his equipment and I was surprised when Fischer requested to go to the Muslim district of Calcutta because he wanted to play in the streets.

Cars rolled up and security ushered him out and he did exactly what they told me he was going to do; he played walking down the streets performing a song called “Stuck on You" which is one of the songs that will appear on his Christian album.

He immediately drew large crowds and at one point he had to get on top of the production van just to not get mobbed by the growing crowd. NDTV showed up and began to film him.

He began to cross the streets again performing his “Stuck on You" single with just him and his guitar and it sounded amazing. Security provided by the Taj Hotel kept onlookers at a distance but it was an amazing sight to see him perform here especially when Muslims were out that very day firing weapons in the air and burning imaged of Pope John Paul.

The Pope had made remarks about the Muslim faith that set off a firestorm of protests all over the Middle East and many were burning images as Phil just kept playing his guitar and at one point walking closely to the actual protests.

I live in Calcutta and never will I venture off in the Muslim areas. I respect their beliefs but with the terrorist situations and the bombings that take place here almost on a weekly basis it’s just safer to stay on my district.

I felt uncomfortable being there but he made me feel safe and his music is amazing.

I spoke to Sanjoy Nath who is his production manager in Calcutta and was told that Fischer currently has one album, “Wounded Soul" that is Gold in South America and India , but left his rock roots behind when he became a Christian in 2002.

He left his tour for “Wounded Soul" and immediately went into the studio in the United States and created yet another album called “New Believer" which is expected to be available for download in India around June of 2007.

His website is http://www.philfischer.com where you can hear many free downloads to his music and read his biography. Even though he is a Christian, I would go and see him again. If you get a chance to see this musician, please go. Its fantastic music and the message is uplifting.

You will find his story over here: http://wawl.info/phil-alan-fischer , phil fischer and more phil fischer
                                
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