This being his fourth visit in eight years and his biggest show here yet, it would seem Ryan Adams is still making new friends in these parts. And not just among the nation's cat lovers either.
In Auckland ahead of the first night of his Australasian tour, the American singer-songwriter had instigated rescue attempts via Twitter of a stray in Grafton cemetery.
It got him international media attention. Such is the winning formula of cats and the internet.
On stage last night, a couple of feline cut-outs sat upon the big fake guitar amps sitting alongside with a couple of 80s arcade games adding a low glow to a lightshow that stayed moody and pretty, if less-than-illuminating, throughout the evening.
After his previous visits with backers the Cardinals and a solo acoustic show at the Civic in 2012, this time Adam brought with him new band, The Shining. And as that name suggests, they had plenty of attack in the axe department via the combined guitars of Adams himself and co-producer Mike Viola.
Elsewhere too - keyboardist Daniel Clarke's organ-playing, with its deft gospel-psychedelic-jazzy touches, possibly left the Town Hall's grand piped instrument feeling a bit unloved.
This tour comes after Adams' solid self-titled album of 2014, one of more than a dozen studio releases since the prolific songwriter with the edgy personality first emerged at the start of the noughties.
While starting off with the latest album's lead track, Gimme Something Good and adding the Tom Pettyesque Stay With Me from it two songs later suggested this was going to be a mild-mannered record-plugging kind of show, it didn't stay that way for long.
In fact, rather than the newer songs, it was the way Adams and cohorts reworked older tunes that turned this into something surprising and exciting.
The first sign that something special was afoot came in an epic extended burn through Dirty Rain, early in the set.
After that came plenty more moments achieving lift-off. The likes of Magnolia Mountain and Peaceful Valley became Grateful Dead-like guitar odysseys, while the sweetly rustic Americana of Nobody Girl turned country-metal thriller.
Adams had been fairly garrulous at his past two Auckland shows. He wasn't in a chatty mood this time, other than taking time to introduce the band and jokingly warning those shouting song requests that their fave would be crossed off the setlist and replaced with Stairway to Heaven.
He didn't make good on the threat, though he did thrown in his acoustic solo cover of Oasis anthem Wonderwall as the single encore.
And if long-time followers wanted to hear his early stuff, there was plenty of it - his 2000 debut Heartbreaker album contributing a fair chunk to the two dozen or so songs played, including fiery blasts through To Be Young (Is To be Sad, Is to Be High) and Shakedown on 59th Street.
The set didn't lack for restrained balladry, like a solo acoustic Winding Wheel, or La Ciegna Just Smiled and a lovely stirring Come Pick Me Up to finish the main set on.
But how Adams and band scorched the corners of the back pages of his songbook was what made this his most memorable show here yet.