One gets the feeling that Ed Sheeran misses performing in a small studio before a crowd of about 30 people – which he confesses used to be what he did before became a superstar.
In fact many of his earliest gigs, before he reached international fame in 2012, were in Melbourne.
The British singer-songwriter doesn’t want us to forget where he came from.
During his first Melbourne concert on Friday, with with special guest Missy Higgins, we’re constantly reminded of the good old days when he was a lesser-known musician playing pub gigs.
He confesses he was a teenage fan Missy, but when he was 14, missed her concert because it was sold out. "Now I get to see Missy Higgins every night."
It’s as if the journey is more important than the outcome - two Grammy Awards, six billion YouTube views and his status as the best-selling recording artist of 2017. All that, and he’s still down-to-earth Ed.
He enters wearing a T-shirt with the Aboriginal flag and gets the beats going with Castle on the Hill, but soon calls his old fan base of "hipster cool kids", a few of which may be in the 60,000-plus crowd, to "just let yourself go".
"There’s no shame in here," he says.
"If I give you 110 per cent of myself, will you get a little bit weird with me tonight?" he asks before launching into Don’t.
Before Bloodstream he asks the crowd to rev up again. He calls on the "boyfriend who doesn’t really want to be here" and "superdad" in the audience to also participate. Soon his wide fan base of six-year-old girls to 60-year-old men, are dancing.
The sing-alongs hit their peak, with Feeling Good/I See Fire, Photograph and Perfect.
For encore it's Shape of You, before he closes the night with You Need Me, I Don’t Need You.
Sheeran has sold more than a million tickets for his stadium shows across Australia and New Zealand. He broke a 32-year-old record, stealing the title of most tickets sold on the Dire Straits’ 1986 Australian/New Zealand tour, which saw 950,000 tickets sold.
He has already rocked Perth and Adelaide. Sheeran finishes his Melbourne shows over the weekend, then moves to Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland, before the final gig in Dunedin on April 1.