it's silly to think that the unexpectedly strong attendance has much to do with setlists on the current tour (as opposed to his known general willingness to play the hits in recent years)
the hits will ALWAYS get the best crowd response, irrespective of artist or audience (unless a very small number are in attendance). most diehards will applaud the hits even if they're tired of them
i think the fact that this is his first "big event" solo headliner world tour since sound and vision might have a lot to do with it. more publicity, older fans who have maybe gone astray during the youth-oriented 90s are drawn back in for "one night only."