Belfast Telegraph

Shawn Mendes performs for MTV Unplugged revival

The Canadian star, 19, played at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles.

Shawn Mendes has performed the first MTV Unplugged since the network revived the series.

The singer, 19, played an acoustic set at the Ace Hotel theatre in Los Angeles on Tuesday for the show that spawned platinum-selling records from Nirvana and Eric Clapton.

Several hundred fans surrendered their phones at the door to prevent the recording leaking ahead of its air date.

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Shawn Mendes

The Canadian pop star performed hit-song Stitches on the piano and also treated fans to stripped-back renditions of Mercy and Treat You Better and a cover of Kings Of Leon’s Use Somebody.

But with Mendes’s style already being largely acoustic, the show lacked the novel quality of MTV Unplugged’s most memorable performances.

Nirvana sold millions of records worldwide with a recording of the grunge band trading in their electric guitars for acoustic ones for MTV Unplugged in 1993.

One fan at Mendes’s set, Gabey Abot, said she was in “awe” of his performance and said it sounded just like his recordings.

“It surprisingly sounds exactly like the tracks,” the 18-year-old biology student said.

Mendes told the audience he was a fan of Unplugged performances from Pearl Jam and Nirvana, adding: “This is very special to me.”

Announcing the return of the show that first aired in 1989, MTV’s senior vice president of music Amani Duncan said she was “thrilled” Mendes would kick it off.

“The Unplugged series allows artists to reimagine their songs in an intimate and acoustic medium, giving their fans a new perspective on their favourite hits,” she added.

The episode will first air in the US on September 8.

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