A few weeks ago, I went to see The Killers live on their Wonderful Wonderful World Tour. For me, there is nothing better than counting down the days to the big event, and the atmosphere from the crowd during the show. It got me thinking, surely, I am not the only one that gets these passionate feelings about music, and is there any science behind it?
UK initiative, Live Music Now, have been promoters of using ‘music as medicine‘ since 1977. Over the years, research has proven that listening to your favourite musicians live can have an impressive impact on our bodies. There is evidence that live music can help us boost our immune system, reduce anxiety and regulate mood.
However, passive viewing does not have the greatest impact. To feel the true benefits of gig-going you must actively engage with the music by clapping, dancing and singing. It is the action that helps you knock down any emotional barriers that you may have and begin to feel free.
It is human nature for us to want to find connections with words, especially the lyrics within songs. We seek to place ourselves in the stories that play out in each verse. Even Albert Einstein said this about music, “If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.” Music is a very encompassing thing, it takes hold of our entire body, both mentally and physically.
For people who feel lonely or depressed, going to a gig can help you find like-minded individuals, that may be feeling a similar way to you. Everyone in that hall or arena has connected with the same opinions and songs that you have. There is no room to panic about being different or not fitting in, everyone has come together for the very same reason. Music brings people together and teaches you not to worry, just to live in the moment.
So, it is true, I’m not just an over obsessed fan of The Killers. The feelings I had at the gig are a true reflection of science. What I saw that day, was a community of people coming to have a good time and leave the real world behind, even if just for a few hours. Music is the best form of escapism we have at our fingertips. Whether you are lost in the story of a song, or music came to you at a hard point in your life, everyone has a narrative to bring with them.
Text: Emily Jordan
Images: NME, BBC, Canva, God Is the TV Zine, Third Force News