On Tuesday night, K-pop superstar group BTS became the first Korean act to star in their own standalone U.S. MTV Unplugged special. Other artists who have been on the show over the years include Nirvana, Tony Bennett, Mariah Carey, and Lauryn Hill.
MTV Unplugged Presents: BTS was filled with hits, rotating backdrops, wardrobe changes, and a surprise cover of Coldplay’s “Fix You.”
The half-hour special presented BTS in a new light, stripping back their usual glossy production and super-stylized choreography, and putting the focus on the Seoul group’s smooth septuple harmonies, Yahoo! Entertainment reports. As the group sat on stools, they were joined by a minimal backing ensemble, if not totally acoustic.
The group kicked off their set with “Telepathy,” a disco-pop number off their latest album, BE. The band members sauntered around an old-school basement rec room outfitted with a foosball table and retro arcade games. Followed by “Blue & Grey” in a sunlit greenhouse, the expected level of grandiosity delivered.
BTS repeatedly expressed their disappointment and frustration over not being able to tour around the world on its massive Map of the Soul Tour in support of its chart-topping album, Map of the Soul: 7, which turned a year old on Sunday, Forbes reports. This lead them to choose Coldplay’s power ballad “Fix You,” a song that had personally comforted them last year. BTS was grateful for the one-off special filmed in South Korea, symbolizing opportunity and hopes for a return to normalcy in 2021.
For perspective, COLDPLAY has turned down massive TV shows, movies & other artists from using or covering their songs if they believe that you will disrespect the spirit of the song & the meaning behind each of their songs. Them letting BTS use their song is a massive deal.😭💜😍 https://t.co/COuzS290th— ᴮᴱ⁷ Woobi 💜🐿 ...GA📌 (@PrinceWooo) February 23, 2021
The millions of “ARMY” members (a.k.a. diehard BTS devotees) who tuned in Tuesday from around the globe went crazy on Twitter, with even Coldplay chiming in! Here’s what they had to say about their performances:
Saw BTS’s MTV Unplugged appearance in full, and it was glorious!!! Band sounded great, the boys sounded and looked great. I can’t name a definitive highlight as the whole thing was so wonderful! @BTS_twt— Lea Salonga (@MsLeaSalonga) February 24, 2021
"The masterful five-song set reinforced what’s already common knowledge among the ARMY: Strip away the stellar choreography and breathtaking pyrotechnics, and BTS remain seven of the most charismatic and talented singers in pop music." Forbes Bryan Rolli pic.twitter.com/yAQvpNvgx1— ᴮᴱikram⁷⟭⟬SLOW (@zergdouniot7) February 24, 2021
Just how Coldplay's were so strict to whoever cover their songs and look how they treat BTS's cover ㅠㅠ pic.twitter.com/xMUHYLSTiE— 제🐰⁷ (@zuyuuB) February 24, 2021