The first weekend of Coachella was jam-packed with a wide-range of artists covering several different genres of music, from rock to punk to country and nearly everything in between.
And more often than not, bands were playing their Fender gear, bringing a lot of interesting instruments to the stage.
Although there were some arguments over which to pick, we’ve compiled a list of five Fender guitars that stood out from the pack, rare and eye-catching pieces that require a closer look.
Spencer Dunham of the surf-influenced Los Angeles psych-rock band Allah-Lahs held down the low-end with a vintage-looking Mustang Bass.
The creaky old instrument had a dark green finish with a matching headstock and blue racing stripes. And you can almost see what’s underneath that, as various chips and wear spots have exposed parts of the wood underneath.
It was an early set for Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger on Friday – the first of the day at Coachella’s Outdoor Theatre – and guitarist Robbie Mangano rocked out on his red flame top Stratocaster with a rosewood fingerboard. It was such a beautiful instrument that it shined brightly amid the afternoon sun.
The War on Drugs frontman Adam Granduciel pulled out an amazing Japanese 12-string Stratocaster midway through his band’s soaring Friday set.
Granduciel actually came across the instrument in Asheville, N.C. and knew he had to take it home.
“It’s so sick, and it plays so sweet,” he told Guitar World about the 12-stringer. “I went into this guitar store in town to pick up some strings for a friend and I saw this white 12-string. I was like, ‘You gotta be shitting me!” I had to get it.’”
Outlaw country crooner Sturgill Simpson typically plays an acoustic guitar in a live setting, but his sideman Laur Joamet is an avowed Telecaster man.
And when the band performed on Sunday at the Gobi Tent, Joamet wielded his 1974 Tele that he bought about 10 years ago in Estonia. As the story goes, it was in rough shape when he got it, but after a little TLC, it’s been his main axe for a long time. Note how the control panel is flipped, a modification that allows him to play pedal steel swells more easily.
Touché Amoré guitarist Nick Steinhardt drew oohs and aahs for his American Vintage Jazzmaster. The shimmering gem is stock except for its unique Royal Blue Sparkle finish, a great look for the post-hardcore band.