WXTJ Writes! By Libby Eveland: Thoughts on Catharsis in Music

Screaming and sweating, pushing past the limits of my lungs. In the front row, I’m disconnected from the performance yet I’m fully immersed in the moment. I slowly realize that the energy around me is hundreds of other people, all screaming along with the swells of the music. What is it about the live performance that elicits this response from us? 

I’m not talking about shouting along to lyrics, or even the vocals of metal music, I’m talking about the deep, guttural screech that you’re afraid to let out. The scream that rings throughout your entire body, that you feel to the pit of your core. When you’re lost in the music, that response seems to slip out. 

While everyone has their own reactions and responses to music, the cathartic scream that is released when seeing live music that connects seems to be a universal experience. Do we feel seen? If so, by who? Other people, ourselves? Does it matter by who? Or do we simply feel? The music is allowing us to feel, giving us access to ourselves, acting almost as a key. We decide what that key is for in different ways. 

By Libby Eveland, co-host of “Word of the Week” on Fridays from 4-6pm.

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