(Taste of Country) – During the ‘CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock’ concert, which aired Monday (Aug. 12), Darius Ruckerproved that his hit single ‘Wagon Wheel’ is the stuff singalongs are made of.
Using footage taped during the CMA Music Festival back in June, the ‘CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock’ special included performances, behind-the-scenes interviews and even a cameo from the ‘Duck Dynasty’ cast. Despite all of the high-power performances and country music fanfare, Rucker nearly stole the show with an intimate ‘Wagon Wheel’ performance and singalong.
Rucker’s set aired after Zac Brown Band and Kid Rock pulled off an intense cover of Grand Funk Railroad’s 1973 hit ‘We’re an American Band.’ It’s hard to match that kind of energy with a band of fiddles, banjos and acoustic guitars, but Rucker definitely pulled it off.
Leaving the big CMA Fest stage, ‘Country’s Night to Rock’ picked back up in a smaller venue. With Rucker at the helm singing ‘Wagon Wheel,’ a jam-packed crowd was poised as close to the stage as possible to get right up there with the band. Judging by the footage and Rucker’s non-stop smile, the crowd was ready to dance, clap and sing along with every word of the song.
Rucker wasn’t the only musician on stage who could hold the crowd in the palm of his hand — the country singer stepped aside to give his fiddle player room for a solo, which was met with fans’ excited screams. Near the end of the performance, Rucker shouted: “Play some country music, boys!” to signal a few bars of a full band solo.
After that, the crowd sang loudly enough that camera crews picked up their voices. When the song ended, the shot panned to black, while Rucker stood on stage smiling.
Other performances from the 2013 ‘CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock’ event ranged from powerful renditions, like Carrie Underwood‘s ‘Paradise City’ cover and the Band Perry‘s ‘Done,’ to intimate sets like Little Big Town‘s ‘Your Side of the Bed’ and Taylor Swift and Tim McGraw‘s ‘Highway Don’t Care.’