Chicago’s three-day, punk-rock carnival was host to Slayer, Jawbreaker, Raconteurs, Patti Smith, Rise Against, Bob Mould, Rancid, Bikini Kill, Lucero, the Struts, and more. Here are our favorite guitar-related moments from the 15th annual gathering.

Cherry Glazzer

Cherry Glazerr

Clementine Creevy had a one-two punch of quiet (jab) and the heavy (uppercut) during her Riot Fest set. She rocked her Fender American Professional HSS Shawbucker Strat (also featured on her newest album Stuffed & Ready) for the whole set. It’s modded to have nothing but the bridge ’bucker (wired straight to the output jack), which is the only thing living inside the guitar. She explained during our 2019 Rundown: “I ripped out the guts, basically, and all that’s left is a volume knob. To me, it sounds much better, as well as being lighter, which is nice when you tour as much as I do. But mostly, I did it because I don’t use the tone knobs. I was always keeping the guitar on my humbucker pickup. So, I just have one humbucker and a volume knob. It sounds very cool. It sounds a little bit louder and a little bit tougher and clearer to me.” The lone axe stays loaded with Ernie Ball Power Slinky (.011–.048) strings and she hammers away with Dunlop Tortex .73 mm (yellow) picks.

Fender’s American Vintage II Series

For these new recreations, Fender focuses on the little things that make original golden-era Fenders objects of obsession.

If there’s one thing players love more than new guitars, it’s old guitars—the unique feel, the design idiosyncrasies, the quirks in finish that all came from the pre-CNC era of instrument manufacturing. These characteristics become the stuff of legend, passed on through the years via rumors and anecdotes in shops, forums, and community networks.

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The Red Sea was born out of the vision to provide complex signal routing options available to the live/performing musician, that up until now, are only found in a studio mixing environment.

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Stardust V3 was designed to capture the sound and response of 3 distinct amplifier models.

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The Sunn O))) Life Pedal circuit has been meticulously tweaked from the original and includes a third footswitch.

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