He has been like this since many years. At his '85 concert in Warsaw he gave quite elaborate speech about the political struggle going on in Poland at that time /I saw this concert recently first time since '85, and looking back I'm struck by his wisdom./leonhardi wrote: I remember that when he said that one about Circus Krone I thought that he must have prepared himself quite well. I mean, how long ago was that? You don't just recall something like that spontaneously, or do you? And I loved it that he had prepared something like that just for us!
Same during his '93 concert in Helsinki -- he connected with the audience commenting on Finnish history.
Even knowing that it's just his way to connect with the audience, the way he does it is quite powerful, and most (?) people believe it's honest.