The past year-plus of the pandemic has put even more emphasis on mental health, and while Miley Cyrus has performed thousands of shows over the years, she revealed during her Milwaukee Summerfest performance Friday night (Sept. 17) that she felt a panic attack coming on.
The vocalist stopped her performance between songs to address the audience, revealing that just a bit earlier in the set she had told her drummer and musical director Stacy Jones that she felt she was having a panic attack. But rather than let it take control, she felt by taking a moment to address it with the audience she could perhaps move through it.
After revealing that she felt the panic attack coming on, the singer told the crowd, “Like everyone else, for the last year and a half I’ve been locked away and isolated and it is very stunning to be back in a place that used to feel like second nature. Being onstage used to feel like being at home, and it doesn’t anymore because of how much time I spent at home locked away. And this is very drastic.”
She went on to add that the pandemic was “startling and terrifying” and that “coming out of it is also slightly terrifying. So I just wanted to be honest with how I’m feeling. Because I think by being honest about that, then it makes me less afraid.”
Fan shot video of her onstage confession can be seen below, but Cyrus continued speaking beyond what is viewed in the video. “The last year kind of removed this divide, this curtain, and we’re allowing people to see us in our most vulnerable, our most isolated, our most hurt, our most scared states,” Cyrus said during her five-minute speech, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “And I think that’s something really empowering … I think by being honest, that makes me less afraid. I’m getting used to being back onstage, but there’s nowhere else that I’d rather be.”
After the moment of openness with the audience, Cyrus completed her 19-song set that included a mix of her earlier pop hits and her more modern rock-leaning material from the Plastic Hearts album.
Cyrus has been making more inroads in the rock world over the last couple of years, bringing in Joan Jett and Billy Idol as guests on the Plastic Hearts album and delivering a star-studded cover of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” for the band’s Blacklist set.