Darius Rucker’s performance at Musikfest was an incredible show for truly everyone, from country lovers to the ‘haters.’ I’ve never been the biggest country fan, but Darius Rucker changed that for me – something I never thought I’d say. Admittedly, I only knew his hit “Wagon Wheel,” but after the concert I raced home to download more of his music.

Darius Rucker and the rest of his band, the California Grey Boys, are an example of true talent. It’s not often that you hear a live performance that matches the song you hear on the radio, and I personally think that they sounded better live. Darius Rucker had a relaxed attitude that made you want to be his friend. The crowd was packed and had a great vibe, full of energy and laughter. Everyone was singing along and dancing with their friends and family. There wasn’t a shortage of cowboy boots and beer, either.

My favorite part in the night was when he sang a cover of “No Diggity” by Blackstreet. It was unexpected and the crowd was certainly feeling it. The crowd, and Rucker, enjoyed dancing along to “Alright,” “Come Back Song,” and “Good for a Good Time.” Rucker slowed things down with “It Won’t Be Like This for Long,” Don’t Think I Don’t Think About it,” and “History in the Making.” He even brought sang some of his Hootie and the Blowfish classics, like “Only Wanna Be With You” and “Time.” Throughout all the songs, from upbeat and infectious to slow and romantic, Rucker’s range was truly showcased.

The highlight of the evening was, of course, “Wagon Wheel.” I don’t think there was a single person in the crowd who wasn’t singing along and stomping their feet. It was in that moment when I decided that I was country fan.

So, thank you Darius Rucker, for a fun evening, and for making me like country music.