Last night on The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon, The Roots, and guest Ariana Grande sat down to play Grande’s song “No Tears Left To Cry.” All pretty standard fare for late night programming, right? Well, here’s the kicker: they did it using instruments built entirely with Nintendo’s new Labo, the gaming and cardboard construction toy developed to work with the Nintendo Switch. The resulting performance was *kisses fingers like a chef *.
Dressed in jump suits (The Roots all in white, Fallon in yellow, and Grande in blue), the crew tugged, strummed, and shook a variety of cardboard instruments created using the Labo. The entire thing is very Stanley Kubrick meets Jamiroquai and a whole lot of fun. The instruments, while they do sound very video game-y, provide an excellent backing track for Grande whose vocal ability never fails to impress.
In an interview with IGN, Fallon said the team had all been working with Nintendo to build and program the instruments ahead of the performance
“It was totally bizarre and such a gamble,” Fallon told IGN. “I didn’t know if it was going to sound good, but Ariana is always down to try something fun and different. Anyone can do what we did really, it just takes time. Whatever you dream of, you can make it.”
Given how easy they all made it look, Fallon’s use of the word “gamble” could seem misplaced. In actuality, what they did was really difficult. To build an instrument with The Labo basically requires that you not only craft the instrument shells out of cardboard but that you program every note that you want to play with a corresponding button. The trick is, they can only program one note at a time, so every note in every chord (of which there are many) that Fallon plays on the makeshift guitar had to be programmed individually.