Blink-182's classic lineup of Tom DeLonge, Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker made their long-awaited return at the Coachella Festival on Friday with a hits-filled set, but our eyes were on DeLonge's new Fender custom Starcaster model that combines elements of his previous signature models and heralds a new era for the company's resurgent semi-hollow '70s model.
DeLonge has played signature one-pickup Fender Strats and Gibson ES-335s in the past, so the Starcaster's spec is the perfect melding of the two with the neck and headstock style of the former with a semi-hollow construction and one humbucker pickup.
Fans only had a day's notice of the band's 6.45pm set on the Indio, California event's Sahara stage but were rewarded with an 18-song set of band's anthems including Miss You, What's My Age Again?, All The Small Things, First Date, Dammit and the live debut of their most recent single, Edging.
DeLonge's custom Starcasters appeared throughout – as did beaming smiles from the band members who were clearly emotional to be back together onstage, with the guitarist and bassist / vocalist Mark Hoppus delivering their signature banter.
The returning guitarist / vocalist took delivery of a number of custom Starcasters from Fender that he's further personalised with stickers of his To The Stars Academy and bands including TSOL and Fugazi.
Earlier this year we asked Executive Vice President Of Fender Products, Justin Norvell about the Starcaster and further news on production models based on the DeLonge's guitars being a 'watch this space' development; "Yes, I would definitely say so," he responded in our interview with a smile.
He also suggested the brand had rallied to deliver DeLonge his custom models when requested. "When Tom DeLonge announced he was rejoining Blink-182 we got all over that pretty quickly," Norvell told us."[We] had a little semi-viral moment, which was cool."
DeLonge a pick of his most recent Custom Shop Starcaster a week before the Coachella set with art by Sam Larson.
As far as spec, the guitars look to have the classic Seymour Duncan JB humbucker – one of the most iconic retrofit pickup choices there is. The Starcasters also feature Tune-o-matic-style bridges with a stop bar tailpiece, furthering those Fender / Gibson hybrid vibes.