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The Unforgettable Performance from BTS on MTV Unplugged

Lisa Truong Feb 26

If you missed the BTS performance on MTV Unplugged, it’s okay, you didn’t miss much… only performances of B-Side tracks, that beautiful cover of Coldplay, Suga being back alongside the six other boys, and oh yeah, Jungkook’s blond hair. On second thought, maybe you missed a lot. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with highlights from the MTV Unplugged performance!

But first, what is MTV Unplugged? 

BTS MTV Unplugged

The ‘Unplugged’ series on MTV offers a space for artists to showcase the acoustic versions of their biggest hits. Fans can hear their favorite songs in a brand new way. MTV Unplugged has hosted many iconic artists throughout the decades—like Paul McCartney, Mariah Carey, Nirvana, and just the other night, BTS. It’s a strategic move for MTV to feature BTS on their show to attract and engage the younger generations to the channel. 

BTS continues to make history as they are the first-ever Korean musical act to perform on MTV Unplugged. MTV announced this special news on February 9th and fans have been eagerly waiting ever since. And they were not disappointed. The boys delivered unforgettable performances of tracks off of their latest album, “BE.” They also surprised fans with a special cover of a song by Coldplay. 

The setlist 

Due to the current pandemic, the group has not been able to share songs off of their new album. Being on MTV Unplugged gave BTS the opportunity to connect with fans through this hard endeavor. Off of the new album, the members performed “Telepathy,” “Blue and Grey,” “Life Goes On,” and of course the Grammy-nominated track, “Dynamite.” The MTV special was also the first time member Suga performed with the rest of the group after his shoulder surgery. He had been away from group activities for the last couple of months. J-Hope excitedly emphasized that the group is seven and that’s how it should be. 

B-Side tracks

What makes this MTV Unplugged even more memorable is the performances of B-Side tracks. They don’t receive a lot of attention because they are non-title tracks. Artists typically don’t perform them during concerts or live events. BTS wanted to show how much they’ve missed their fans by gifting them performances of B-Side tracks.

The MTV Unplugged special kicked off with a performance of “Telepathy,” making it the first time ever that BTS has performed this track live. The seven members sang and danced in a room decorated with fun arcade setups. And if you know BTS, you know they love games. After the performance, the members talked among themselves for a bit, sharing compliments as well as personal struggles with the current pandemic. Suga expressed how happy he was about performing again after recovering from surgery. He gladly shared that the inspiration behind “Telepathy” is ARMY. 

Blue and Grey

Speaking of ARMY, member V explained that “Blue and Grey” translates to the members’ desire to see ARMY during this difficult time. Missing ARMY is a grey feeling. For V, the song holds a lot of meaning because he took part in writing it. The set for the performance is breath-taking and far greater than we could have imagined it to be. The boys surrounded themselves with wildflowers and plants to fit the ballad. There’s an illuminated path that connects them to each other and a sun-kissed backdrop behind them. This was also the first time BTS performed this track live and it was a special moment for both them and ARMY. 

BTS MTV Unplugged - DynamiteBTS MTV Unplugged - Life Goes On

Following “Blue and Grey” is their title track “Life Goes On.” The boys reunited with the live band, Ghost, who helped them out with some of their most historical stages, like SNL and NPR Tiny Desk back in 2019. Ghost also played for the boys for the worldwide hit single, “Dynamite.” As the band messed around with chord progressions and riffs, it gave the two tracks a refreshing vibe. 

Coldplay cover

Fix You

MTV Unplugged encourages artists to not only perform their songs but covers as well. Halfway through their MTV Unplugged special, BTS surprised fans with a cover of “Fix You” by Coldplay. BTS never fails to impress fans with their delicate vocals. Not to mention how perfectly in harmony their voices are with each other. The vocal line, in particular, outdid themselves by displaying their skills when it comes to having a strong vocal range. The lyrics of the song also resonates strongly with the group members. The song talks about comfort, consolation, and reassurance, which gives off a similar vibe to BTS’ “Mikrokosmos,” “Spring Day,” and “Zero O’Clock.”

Comfort and healing with BTS

The performances on MTV Unplugged cemented BTS’s reputation for being a source of comfort for people during challenging times. The members are strong advocates for hope and they have delivered that message through this special show. We don’t know the next time we will be able to see BTS perform in person. But we do know that the seven boys will always be waiting to see us. Just like we are waiting to see them.

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