Ed. Note: Head here to find our complete coverage of Coachella 2022.
IDLES had been waiting for this day for a long time: one of the few artists that retained their spot on the highly-coveted Coachella lineup from 2020, they’ve had this festival in their itinerary for over two years. Quite a bit has changed for the band since their initial inclusion on the Coachella lineup in January 2020. They were touring extensively for two years in support of their massive breakthrough album Joy As An Act Of Resistance, and now they have two more albums to decorate their sets with: 2020’s Ultra Mono and last year’s brilliant CRAWLER.
Last weekend, IDLES finally made their Coachella debut in the upgraded, energetic Mojave tent — and not only that, they were set to play directly after Arcade Fire’s surprise set on Friday evening. “I never thought I would have to walk on after they played,” IDLES guitarist, keyboardist, and stage-diving extraordinaire Mark Bowen tells Consequence. “They must have requested it!”
Set times aside, IDLES are undoubtedly one of the most exciting live bands to appear at Coachella this year. Their set grew from the barebones power of “Colossus,” eventually bursting with energy for quicker cuts like “Mother,” and featuring a very special appearance from CRAWLER producer Kenny Beats for “The Beachland Ballroom.” Vocalist Joe Talbot announced Kenny Beats as a “member of the family” when introducing him, and the radiant performance reflected that camaraderie.
I PLAYED KEYS AT COACHELLA WITH MY FAVORITE BAND IN THE WORLD YESTERDAY @idlesband pic.twitter.com/e7SqzzFKhO
— kennybeats (@kennybeats) April 16, 2022
In the modern era of Coachella, guitar bands aren’t as heavily favored by the festival’s organizers and attendees the way they were in the past, but IDLES managed to pull a dedicated crowd and conjured a cathartic, brilliant performance — with an appropriately sized moshpit in center of the tent to show for it.
On the eve of their appearance at Coachella, Consequence spoke to Bowen about what Coachella means to him, their journey up until now, and their love of festivals.