What do you think goes into the planning conversations about Jimmy Fallon‘s “classroom instruments” musical segments? The song in question probably has to be simple enough to be strip to its essential parts, for one thing. For another, it obviously has to sound good in a pseudo-acoustic setting.
Monday night (October 8), the latest pop tune to get this treatment was Shawn Mendes‘s “Treat You Better,” where Fallon manned a woodblock and Mendes himself played the spoons. It wasn’t as seemingly futuristic as Ariana Grande’s paper-instrument take on “No Tears Left to Cry,” but it sounded pretty great as Mendes’s rasp soared over all the whimsy.
“Treat You Better” became Mendes’s second top-10 single in the U.S. when it was released in 2016, which is to say it’s a known song. But like, why not “Lost In Japan” for this segment? The juxtaposition of a titillating midnight bop with classroom instruments sounds like a perfect match, but hey, I don’t make the rules. Mendes is likely saving that one for his joint performance with Zedd at the American Music Awards anyway, which air on Tuesday (October 9).
Also, The Roots never get enough credit for making these performances pop, but they should, because they do so much here! It’s not just a bunch of shakers and plastic clappers; the main melodic instruments here are a ukulele, a melodica, and a toy xylophone, and you really gotta play those things to make it work.
In addition to spreading the gospel of his self-titled album, which dropped in May, Mendes — a good Canadian — is very stoked that hockey has started up once again. Honestly, same. Check out the lovely little clip above.