If you’ve spent many sleepless nights pondering the practical, real-world applications of Nintendo’s delightful new cardboard oddity, Nintendo Labo, here’s a little story that might intrigue you: famous pop person Ariana Grande performed on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, using a bunch of backing instruments fashioned entirely from Labo. It sounded pretty good!
The musical segment, which aired on the US show on Monday, saw the Grammy-Award-nominated Grande performing new song No Tears Left to Cry, while Fallon’s house band The Roots unfurled a spirited musical accompaniment using guitars, pianos, and other creations, all built using Labo’s heavily customisable Toy-Con Garage software and bits of cardboard.
Plenty of non-Grandes have already put a range of Labo creations through their melodic paces on the internet, of course, so we’ve had a pretty good idea of the device’s musical credentials before now. However, Fallon’s band, each member equipped with a Labo-draped Switch, is one of the larger congregations to use the device, and the end result is both a fun novelty and a fascinating spectacle – and it’s cool to see just how flexible Labo can be.
The performance was, perhaps unsurprisingly, achieved with considerable assistance from Nintendo. As Fallon explained in a statement provided to IGN, “We met with Nintendo and they showed us a bunch of cool cardboard things that you can make. We used the Variety Kit and we made a keyboard. We asked if we could make other cardboard things like guitars and they said, ‘Of course! We’ll help you do it.”
At least some of the preparatory work that went into Grande’s performance can be seen in the second video above, as supplied by Fallon and pals prior to the airing of last night’s show. And if you want to find out how someone (only marginally) less famous than Ariana Grande got on with Labo recently, you can check out Bertie’s glowing Eurogamer review.