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!

Derek Lynch

Hobo Johnson and the LoveMarkers' Derek Lynch

It's been a wild ride for Hobo Johnson & the LoveMakers this year, ever since Hobo and his crew made a single-shot video for NPR's Tiny Desk series. They eventually lost out in the finals, but the video garnered millions of views and earned them a Tiny Desk slot. Guitarist Derek Lynch is seen here with his all-stock Olympic white Fender American Professional Jaguar.

Earth-rocking road warriors Tim Sult and Dan Maines show off their Gibsons, Rickenbackers, Orange and Ampeg heads, and their most elaborate boards to date.


Before the band’s headlining show at Nashville’s Marathon Music Works, Premier Guitar’s Chris Kies hopped onstage before soundcheck to see how guitarist Tim Sult and bassist Dan Maines (above right) use vintage axes, roaring tube heads, and a select few stomps set fire to the band’s live shows.

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Clutch rocking Kuma's Block Party in Chicago, IL in 2009. Photo by Chris Kies

Guitarist Tim Sult and Producer Machine share Clutch’s “riffs in your face” recipe for the band’s new album “Earth Rocker”

Earth Rocker might be the best Clutch album that has ever existed,” proudly states Clutch guitarist Tim Sult. While hardcore Transnational-or-bust fans may roll their eyes on the standard optimism the guitarist shares regarding his band’s 10th studio album, the statement is better conveyed from producer Machine’s perspective.

“Clutch is a jam band. That’s their birthplace—four dudes, who got along, shared a love for heavy rock, threw back some beer, and played music together,” Machine says. “They’re still learning to write songs in a conventional way—hell, so am I [laughs]—because they didn’t come from a traditional school of songwriting and Earth Rocker shows all four of the band’s members on top of their games as song crafters.”

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