Rihanna covered Bob Marley during a relentless set as the Chelmsford leg V Festival 2011 ahead of headliner Eminem.
A video medley of some of Rihanna‘s best-known songs hailed the singer’s arrival onto the stage, as she opened with ‘Only Girl (In The World)’.
Wearing a blue denim tie-off top and black shorts, she greeted the crowd by shouting: “What’s up, V Fest?” before launching into ‘Disturbia’. Imploring fans to “get your fucking hands up”, she continued into ‘Shut Up And Drive’, sitting on a pink gun turret that was part of her stage set after ‘S&M’.
With probably the biggest crowd of the weekend saluting a solo version of Jay-Z collaboration ‘Run This Town’ with the rapper’s famous diamond hand sign, she started up a solo rendition of T.I. duet ‘Live Your Life’.
Finally slowing it down for piano ballad ‘Unfaithful’, things were quickly stepped up again with ‘Pon De Replay’ and ‘What’s My Name’ featuring some trademark gyrating dance moves.
Hit singles ‘Rude Boy’ and ‘Don’t Stop The Music’ gave way to a cover of ‘Redemption Song’, the singer sitting on the edge of the stage with her guitarist to sing what she called: “my favourite Bob Marley song.”
With an: “I know you know the words”, Rihanna then finished with ‘Umbrella’, thanking fans for “coming to rock out with me… love you UK!”
The wait was then now on for Eminem, with many wondering if Rihanna will return to sing ‘Love The Way You Lie’ with the rapper, as she did in Stafford last night.
Earlier on, The Wombats played an early evening slot on the 4 Music Stage. With a set mostly concentrating on the singles from the band’s two albums, singer Murph asked the crowd before ‘Techno Fan’ if they were: “looking forward to Rihanna”, asking if they should, “grind up against things like her”.
Bassist Tord Overland-Knudsen and drummer Tord Haggis later did just that, with Murph claiming: “Rihanna learned all she knows from these two knobheads.”
Murph returned to his favourite subject, telling fans: “Tord says he saw a man on someone’s shoulders having a wank at Rihanna last night [at V Festival Stafford], let’s hope that happens again tonight – my family are here,” before the band ended with ‘Let’s Dance To Joy Division’.
Fenech-Soler threw T-shirts into the crowd, playing singles ‘Lies’ and ‘Stop And Stare’ during a bouncy set in the Under Cover tent.