There was no significant difference between the Falcon 9 booster (first stage B1058, on its first flight, as it happened) used for Demo-2 and other Block 5 Falcons.
The excitement was entirely due to the fact of it having a crewed payload, the first NASA astronauts to launch on a US rocket on US soil since 2011.
While Falcon 9 is shaping up to be a quite reliable launcher, no rocket launch is anything like perfectly safe; the stakes for the May 30 launch were higher than usual, and given the way the year is going, many people were braced for some kind of disaster to occur. For those people, there was a significant sense of relief after the first stage and second stage phases of the ascent completed. This sense was particularly acute for people of my age cohort, who were school-aged when the Challenger accident occurred in 1986; many of my friends commented on the tension they felt watching this launch.