Saturday marked Jay-Z’s only scheduled European performance of 2017, and while the crowd at Virgin V Fest presumably got to see some of the first live performances of 4:44 material, Jay also took things back by giving fans one of the more popular cuts from 2004’s Linkin Park collaboration Collision Course.
Jay Z tributed Chester Bennington at V Fest with Numb/Encore. This is amazing. pic.twitter.com/KuwiTWaZVH— ronald isley (@yoyotrav) August 20, 2017
“Can you guys light it up tonight for Chester from Linkin Park one time?” Jay asked the crowd, after requesting the house lights be dimmed for the performance. The "Chester" being referenced was Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington, who died in July after taking his own life. “Please make some noise so he can hear you all the way in heaven tonight.”
Much like initial performances of “Big Pimpin” after Pimp C’s 2007 death, Jay-Z opted to let the crowd perform the majority of his late collaborator’s verse. The crowd at Staffordshire’s Weston Park obliged, with Jay mostly performing hype man duties and dropping in ad libs during Chester’s verse.
By most accounts, Jay hasn’t performed “Numb/Encore” live since 2011, despite the fact that Collision Course debuted at No. 1 and eventually went platinum. Additionally, “Numb/Encore” won best rap/sung collaboration at the 2006 Grammy awards.
Other notable performances during the set included “Ni**as In Paris” from Watch the Throne, which you can watch below. Given Jay’s recent confirmation that his relationship with Kanye West isn’t currently on the best of terms, fans may or may not start speculating about the reasons West’s verse was cut from the live performance.
Jay-Z will also headline a second V Fest lineup Sunday night at Chelmsford’s Hylands Park.