We cherry-picked the essential guitar-centric happenings from Chicago’s three-day celebration, including performances from Johnny Marr, Elvis Costello, Incubus, Weezer, Bad Religion, Jesus Lizard, and more!

Johnny Marr

The former Smiths guitar magician, Modest Mouse contributor, and prolific solo star spoke to us about his love for the Fender Jag in our September 2018 cover story: “I find you absolutely have to have .011s on a Jag. No question on that! Guitarists that are used to playing with .010s on other guitars will find a Jag with .011s will behave in a way they understand. I personally set up my Jags so they have a little bit of fight in them.”

This rare English Tonemaster was made circa 1957.

The Valco-produced English Tonemaster is a rare, lap-steel-inspired gem from the 1950s—when genres and guitar design were fluid.

The 1950s were a peculiar time for the electric guitar. Innovators, designers, and tinkerers were pushing the boundaries of the instrument, while musicians were experimenting with various playing techniques and sounds. There was an evolution of sorts (or de-evolution, depending on your slant) from solidbody “sit-down” guitars, like pedal and lap steels, to “stand-up” or “upright” solidbody electrics. If you look at an early Fender catalog—let’s say from 1953—you’ll see the Telecaster (and Esquire), the Precision Bass, and then a whole bunch of steel guitars. There was a shift underway, and many manufacturers began to blur the lines of what a guitar should look, sound, and play like.

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PRS Guitars and John Mayer officially announce the PRS SE Silver Sky, an affordable version of the original with PRS trademark bird inlays and three single-coil pickups.

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