Pullin’ ‘Tubes: Florence Unplugs The Machine

Back in the 1990’s MTV’s Unplugged series was arguably the network’s signature music program. Running consistently from 1989 through 1997, the show featured a mix of contemporary and classic acts performing in a stripped down setting. The series yielded a number of memorable episodes from Eric Clapton’s set of radically rearranged songs to LL Cool J becoming the first hip hop artist to perform on the show to Nirvana, whose appearance may be Unplugged’s defining episode. The network has attempted to revive the series on and off over the last decade-plus with mixed results, and with not nearly the same roster of talent that once made it a must watch. Relegated to a web series a few years back, Unplugged is headed back to network television this year, with eight new episodes premiering across MTV, VH1 and CMT.

The rebooted series, which will feature new episodes from The Civil Wars and Dierks Bentley later this spring, premiered earlier this month with a show from Florence + the Machine. Recorded last December at the Angel Orensanz Center on New York’s Lower East Side, the U.K. based baroque-pop group were backed by a 10-piece Gospel choir, and mixed tunes from their two studio albums with a pair of unexpected covers. Welch performed a stunningly haunting version of Otis Redding’s Try A Little Tenderness, backed only by a piano player, which she prefaced by saying that it was her favorite song of all-time. She also invited Queens Of The Stone Age front man Josh Homme to the stage for a spirited version of the Johnny Cash and June Carter classic duet tune Jackson. Let’s check it out…

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