On February 23, BTS took their rightful place amongst legends when they performed a five-song set on MTV Unplugged, home to some of the most impressive performances in music.
The show is known for inviting some of the biggest artists of every era to take fans into the essence of their music. Veteran artists Jay-Z, Maxwell and most famously, Nirvana, have all graced the stage of MTV Unplugged, and on Tuesday night, it was BTS’s turn. For a group who are renowned for their extraordinary dance moves and elaborate stages, this was an opportunity for the septet to show the world that before anything else, they are artists. Even though they are technically the biggest boyband in the world right now, many seem to look the other way or even put BTS’ fame to luck but after watching their performances, there has been nothing but praises for the boys.
The half-hour performance was filmed on five different sets, each one matching the mood of each song, from an arcade to an indoor beautiful bloomed field and a retro living room. Along with acoustic versions of songs from Be, RM, Jimin, Jin, Suga, Jungkook, V and J-Hope slipped in the surprise Coldplay cover as a treat for their American viewers.
The episode began with BTS’ first-ever performance of their lively disco-funk song , “Telepathy.” After explaining the creative process behind “Telepathy,” the mood shifted into a more somber tone for “Blue & Grey.” The pop ballad was also a first-time premiere that was written by V and originally meant to be on his upcoming solo mixtape, “Blue & Grey” takes listeners on a journey of acknowledging feelings of sadness and uncertainty. This track has made itself home in the hearts of almost every listener.
The stripped-back nature of the song allowed for the vocal line to emote with every note they hit, with the members appearing one-by-one for their parts, dressed in simple grey suits. It was hard not to thinking of mourning, of the death of 2020 and all that we lost (and continue to lose). The set design on this particular section was spellbinding; despite the gloomy lighting, a beautiful field of flowers and tall grass filled an empty corridor with something akin to hope on a sad day.
In true Unplugged style, the group then surprised everyone with a cover of Coldplay’s classic “Fix You.” A (mostly) surprise for fans, it was a standout moment that further proved BTS’s dexterity. BTS’s rendition of the pop rock ballad featured gorgeous harmonies between the vocal and rap line members — one of many highlights was leader RM’s deep, breathy vocals complementing Jin’s superb high notes.
Coldplay is known for not letting just anyone cover their songs and this one in particular has not been approved for cover-singing as it holds a very personal backstory. The fact that they allowed BTS to cover this song emphasizes how genuine the band is. BTS poured all they had into the cover and it shows.