Panteón Rococó celebrates 20 years of Mexican ska in Philly
One of the most emblematic Mexican ska bands will visit Philadelphia for the first time.
Panteón Rococó is set to perform at District N9NE on Tuesday Oct. 13 as part of its tour "XX Años y Queremos Más” (20 years and we want more), a significant anniversary that the band is celebrating internationally.
"It is not easy, but we are gladly taking this celebration through the United States on a one month tour that began with performances across Mexico" said Dario Espinosa, bassist of the band.
This year Panteón Rococó became the first Latin American rock band to fill one of the largest stadiums in Mexico CIty. The band performed in front of 20,000 people at the “Arena de la Ciudad de México” to celebrate 20 years of songs that mix punk, merengue, reggae and its characteristic Mexican ska.
"The greatest achievement of the band is that the nine musicians today are the same ones that started Panteón. We have is a good relationship both personally and professionally that has allowed us to achieve great things," Espinosa said.
According to Espinosa at this point in the band’s history, individual members have creative freedom even as they acknowledge the evolution and maturity of the band’s lyrics and music.
"The concerts in the U.S. are much more nostalgic and emotional because the audience who come to our performances have the same concerns as the Mexican community, perhaps even more because they reside outside the country," Espinoza said. "They transmit all that energy, not only Mexican fans but Latinos in general. We meet a lot of fans who share their experiences with us — the good and the bad — and at that moment in the show, despite being in the U.S., becomes a national thing.”
In the past the band sang about Mexico City, the Tlatelolco massacre, the killings in Chiapas and about Subcomandante Marcos (leader of the 'Zapatista' movement). Now, with a new generation of fans and little change in the landscape, the band believes its message is as relevant as ever.
In the recent performance at “Arena Ciudad de México,” the vocalist of the group, Dr. Shenka remembered the 43 missing students of Ayotzinapa.
"In 1995, the year we started, Mexico was going through some difficult times that continue today. For two decades, (the country’s situation) has been one of painful and harsh realities. Those 43 who are still missing could have been me, your son or your brother. They took them alive and alive we want them returned!" the singer stated, according to informador.com.mx
"It is very clear to us that change will not come with any elected president. Besides the bad jokes about Mexican politics, as Mexicans we have to see how we can improve the community ourselves. We need to keep an eye on what people in power are really doing, because, after all, they live off our money,” Missael Oseguera, the sax player of Panteón, said to AL DÍA in a 2013 interview.
In terms of their first performance in Philadelphia, Espinosa said they have big expectations for the Philly audience who will experience Panteón Rococó for the first time.
Since its inception in 1995, the band’s music has crossed beyond Mexico and reached a diverse audience. The band has seven albums in the discography, have performed 150 shows in the U.S., and 15 musical tours in Europe.
This year the group released two new tracks, “Viernes de Webeo” and “Nunca Fué”, which were released as singles on vinyl in a limited edition to commemorate the band’s 20th anniversary.
"There are many people who first heard us in Mexico and who now are living in the United States. It is very rewarding to hear their stories and learn from them — as one more lesson of these 20 years," Espinoza said. "It is what we've always wanted. To play where we can, while we can, and to reach new places every day."