"I can't believe I'm still here," sings Ian Hunter, 76 years young and still every inch the rock 'n' roll preacher, towards the end of his sold-out show at Wrexham's William Aston Hall.
The lyric, from his wryly-observed 2012 song 'Life', is layered with added poignancy tonight.
For this is only Hunter's second UK gig since the deaths of two great friends and former collaborators, David Bowie and Dale 'Buffin' Griffin, drummer in the veteran frontman's old band Mott the Hoople.
Their passing, which came during the same week in January, must have hit Hunter hard, but it was not something he dwelt upon during his 90-minute set here.
Nods made to Buffin and Bowie
Neither Buffin or Bowie were mentioned by name. In fact, Hunter rarely addressed the crowd between songs. Instead, he let his music do most of the talking, and it's safe to assume that some well-chosen tracks later in the show were nods in the direction of his two old friends.
Set opener (I'm The) Teacher builds slowly. Hunter's excellent Rant Band play the pulsing opening bars before the former Mott frontman, with his trademark mop of tightly curled hair and dark shades, takes to the stage.
Things move up a gear with the second song of the show, 1975 solo single Once Bitten, Twice Shy, and by this stage the crowd - clearly all devoted fans - are ready to lap up everything Hunter and his band have to offer.
The five-piece Rant Band and their leader do not disappoint.
The tunes keep coming thick and fast, with Hunter not one to engage in much chat between each number.
The singer swaps his acoustic guitar for a spell on the keyboards, and makes up for a slightly shaky Honaloochie Boogie (he admits to disliking the song before playing it) with superb versions of All American Alien Boy and All the Way From Memphis.
'I'll see you in my dreams'
The next stage of the set is perhaps the strongest, with Hunter mixing in some of his more recent compositions before bringing everyone in the hall to their feet with a cover of the Velvet Underground's Sweet Jane.
The encore gives Hunter the chance to honour his late friends, with Rest in Peace followed by Mott classic Roll Away the Stone and then Life ("just another rock 'n' roll show, hope you had a great night").
We all know what's coming next - the hymn-like All the Young Dudes, penned and produced by a peak-of-his-powers Bowie for Mott in 1972.
How do you follow that? Well, Hunter settles for a few bars of Lead Belly's Goodnight Irene on his black acoustic guitar.
"I'll see you in my dreams," he sings.
It feels like the right way to sign off at the end of a memorable night.