Indefatigable cumbia punkers Thee Commons hit Reno

Thee Commons
Reno-bound Thee Commons are the most uncommon trio you will see or hear.

The East L.A. band Thee Commons is sweeping the nation and no one can stop it; not Donald Trump, not a crappy cell phone connection, not even mom.

When they were grounded by their mother for goofing off, brothers David and Rene Pacheco still found ways to keep clowning. As they grew older, they learned to play instruments.

“That playful energy translated onstage,” said David, who is the band’s guitarist and lead singer. Rene plays drums.

The self-described psychedelic cumbia punk rock trio is on a 52-date tour – its longest ever – introducing itself to audiences all across the county, including places like Austin, Chicago and Denver.

“When you play somewhere for the first time, you have to bring your ‘A’ game,” David Pacheco said.

Thee Commons
Rene and David Pacheco started Thee Commons in 2012.

Tahoe Onstage first connected with Thee Commons in Washington, D.C., but the phone reception was poor, and so they reconnected in Colorado. Again, there was bad connection, but one message David Pacheco conveyed came over loud and clear: When the band debuts in Reno on Thursday at The Saint, “expect a cumbia dance party,” he said.

The Pacheco brothers began to embrace their Latino musical roots as they became older, especially cumbia, the dance-inspiring sound introduced by emigrants from Colombia to Mexico in the 1940s. David Pacheco also said he is influenced by big bandera sounds played by 14-piece, duster-wearing vaqueros. And their spirit is that of a DIY punk rock band.

Thee Commons is Rank and File meets Los Fabulosos Cadillacs squished into a three-piece band.

Formed in 2012, the trio has gone through a dozen bassists, but two years ago settled on Jose Rojas.

“He gets us,” David Pacheco said.

The band sometimes addresses politics in its songs. Pacheco said the cross country journey has included the embrace of new fans at venues and some funny looks at red-state stops in between.

“We are tall and we keep our heads held high,” he said. “We were born here and we are staying here and we love this country.”

And anyone who catches a Thee Commons show will love the music and fun-loving entertainment, too.

  • Thee Commons
    When: 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16
    Where: The Saint, midtown Reno
    Tickets: $10 in advance or $12 at the door

ABOUT Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons
Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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