Photos and words by Greg Jacobs.
I specifically went to this matinee to see The Schizophonics. A San Diego throw-back punk n’ roll and soul band who sound like a present day MC5 with the moves of James Brown and the danger of Iggy Pop. But they don’t sound dated in the slightest. This is no tribute band. This is a 2019 powerhouse. Their live show is a sweat soaked work out. Husband and wife rockers Lety (drums) and Pat Beers (vocals/guitar) are the heart and soul of The Schizophonics. Pat is so explosive on stage that you can’t take your eyes off him … And you don’t want to. His guitar swings wildly as he flies around the stage. The mic stand is kicked and knocked over frequently, only to be beckoned back in place by a subtle tug of the chord, or the help of the crowd in the front row. If his feet touch the stage floor, which is rare, they are in constant motion, sliding and dancing across the stage. But, somehow, he usually makes it back to the mic just in time to deliver his line. What I’m trying to say is … Shit might hit you if you are not paying attention, so pay attention!
On the drums, Lety is holding the entire show together. As chaos ensues around her, she’s the unfazed, eye of the storm. She’s calm, smiling and rocking!
The Schizophonics do not have a permanent bass player as far as I can tell. If I could make one suggestion to the band, it would be; lock Blake Lindquist up on bass! The dude was ripping. He has a great balance with Pat … He’s got the stage presence and awareness to be able to share a stage with him. He’s not in the way but he’s not hiding in the corner either. His playing is right in the pocket with Lety and they form a strong rhythm section to allow Pat the freedom to soar.
I feel sorry for any band that has to follow the insanity that is the Schizophonics on stage. I especially feel sorry for a one-man-band who has to follow The Schizophonics. This was Mark Sultan’s task on Sunday afternoon. To make things worse, some of his gear had broken during his tour, so he was borrowing kick pedals and other things from the other bands just to get himself on stage … Plus, it felt like he took FOREVER to get on stage and get started.
The first thing he did, was to change into his stage clothes … on stage. He simply turned his back to the crowd, slid toward the back corner of the stage, dropped his pants and slipped on his stage pants. He turned around and headed toward his guitar and drums in his homemade black hoodie complete with several “googly-eyes” attached to the hood and at the wrists … the chest bore a cosmic design reminiscent of Buzz Melvin’s stage shirt.
He sat down, grabbed his guitar and proceeded to KICK ASS. I’ve never seen someone rock so hard while seated. His songs are catchy and have a distinct 1950’s malt-shop vibe, with some evil undertones. He played guitar and drums and sang and I was hooked. The crowd filled in to the front of the stage so quickly that I was stuck shooting photos from the back of the room … Whoops.
We filed out of the venue into the daylight feeling exhausted and exhilarated. This was a matinee for the record books.
Both The Schizophonics and Mark Sultan have a few records out each … My suggestion is to buy them all and to get see them live … Just know, if you don’t like them, we cannot be friends.