By Joanna Meza
The Zapatista-inspired Mexican rock band Panteon Rococo kicked off its 20th anniversary tour at the Observatory in Santa Ana on Sept. 20.
“It was our first tour date and I’m glad that we could start off our 20th anniversary tour with such great energy. It gives us a really good vibe to keep going for the rest of this tour,” guitarist Leonel Rosales said.
Panteon Rococo is known for blending various music genres like ska, reggae, punk and cumbia. They have toured across South America, the United States, and Europe performing their Latin-infused music.
“Keeping our ears and minds open helps us,” Rosales said. “We learn from all types of musicians whether new or experienced.”
Many of the bands’ songs are politically motivated, something they have been known for since the beginning.
“We talk about things that happen all around the world. We’ve always tried to give our point of view through the music. We’re not trying to indoctrinate anyone we simply share our message,” Rosales said.
Certain songs like La Carencia, which means the lack of something, speaks of the daily struggles of people living below the poverty level, along with the long-term effects of being stuck in an oppressive country.
“The popularity of songs like this one tells us that perhaps certain problems that we have observed and spoke out on the past are still relevant today,” Rosales said.
Members of the band are supporters of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation better known as the EZLN, an indigenous self-determination group from the Chiapas region of Mexico. They are outspokenly critical of the Mexican Government.
Panteon Rococo will be touring the U.S until Oct. 17, before doing two shows in Mexico, wrapping up in the city of Monterrey.
“It is a great joy for us to be able to share our music, our message and to learn from everyone. We’re happy to be here. It’s a year of celebration,” Rosales said.