Growing up in the '80s and '90s I had a distinct vision of what rock concerts should be like; grand spectacles full of pyrotechnics, spandex costumes and elaborate set designs with giant bats straddled by an enormous inflatable devil. My first ever gig, Meatloaf at Wembley Arena aged 12, delivered just that. Fast forward nearly twenty years and I'd nearly forgotten what it's like to see a rock show.

The stage for the The Flaming Lips show at the O2 Brixton Academy is certainly big enough to afford the exuberance we have come to expect from such a seasoned band and they do not disappoint. Only Wayne Coyne and co. could start their show with a spectacular explosion of light, colour, fireworks and confetti that most bands would consider over the top for an encore, let alone an entrance.

To top things off, the trademark giant butterflies are dragged out on stage by Coyne, who is dressed in a skin tight lycra suit with an exposed muscle print with a clutch of shimmering tassels covering his crotch. We're only a few minutes into the show, but there is already a carnival atmosphere in the venue and over the next hour and a half we're treated to a full on greatest hits set from a band who have been doing this for almost as long as I've been alive.

The excitement is indescribable, when just three songs in they break into 'Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt 1', with Wayne Coyne stopping a few bars in because he thinks the crowd could do a better job of participating. We duly respond and everyone throws their all into the karate sounds at the appropriate time. This is indicative of the night I experienced, with giant walls of light and several different animations (from kaleidoscope type visuals to naked women dancing wildly) serving as the backdrop.

While the band embark on a lengthy instrumental, there is some shuffling on stage with portion of the setup making way for a large light box that Coyne appears on top of to see out the remainder of the main set. There is no way that you remain as successful as The Flaming Lips for as long as they have due to a lack of professionalism, but it's a whole new level for their frontman to perform two of their most personal songs so close together: 'Do You Realize??' and 'Try To Explain', both penned for his wife but both charting two vastly different stages of their relationship. The former serves as the first of two encores, the second of which ends up being a tribute to The Beatles' 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds', which couldn't be more apt.

There are lots of great bands performing live in the world, but are there any that put on a show quite as good as this? I don't think there are many that even come close. It's more than a gig, it's a glorious spectacle.

With thanks to O2 Academy - check out O2 Academy TV