“THERE’S AN EXPRESSION in classical music,” Tom Waits told me, one Saturday night in January, when he called to talk about where music happens. “It goes, ‘We went out to the meadow.’ You ever heard that one?”

I told Waits I hadn’t.

“It’s for those evenings,” he continued, “that can only be described in that way: There were no walls, there were no music stands, there weren’t even any instruments. There was no ceiling, there was no floor, we all went out to the meadow. It describes a feeling. Usually someone will say it, but they’re probably reluctant to say it — you might be afraid that only you went out to the meadow last night. But it’s one of those things where you go as a group. It’s not like: ‘Last night was a really great show for me and it sucked for you.’ No. We all went out to the meadow. There’s something magical about it. And you can never plan on it.”

-Wyatt Mason,  March 1, 2017 edition of the NYT Magazine