The most important part of any performance is the psych, the mood-casting, pulling the listener into the world of the music being performed. You as the artist are the conjurer, the magician creating the illusion that this music is truth and not a parlor trick. Perfection and skill and artistry are all simply servants of this goal. All music from classical to metal produces emotions in the listener. That's why it's so important to not stop when you make mistakes (MACRO-rhythm error), and why most pitch mistakes aren't that serious. Most pitch mistakes don't destroy the edifice you are creating in the listener's mind, but more rhythm mistakes say the creation isn't real, they war against your creation. If you don't feel adequate for the role of musical vision-caster - DO NOT DESPAIR! You can learn to do this just like you are learning the other parts of music. And you can check to see if what I said is true by looking at the music and musicians you love to listen to now. The reason you love each of them is because of what they make you feel and think as you listen. You are learning to produce those feelings and thoughts in your listeners right now. Congratulations!
Are the emotional implications of music, varying beat to measure to phrase, cultural or intrinsic? Regardless, musicians must live in it.