Much more than just a music event

Don't ever let it be said that Flaming Lips don't put on a fine show. Whereas others would simply play tracks from the latest album, mixed in with a few old favourites to please their loyal followers, Flaming Lips take the visual extravaganza idea to a whole new level.

Even before the music began the packed crowd in front of the main stage had been treated to a few tricks. First Wayne Coyne took to the stage and asked the crowd to make sure they told their friends about his space bubble. He then climbed aboard and preceded to float around above the audience for a couple of minutes.

Once he'd returned to ground level, Superman appeared on stage, who was actually Xfm DJ Shaun Keaveny, to introduce Coyne and the rest of the band as "more than just a band, but a way of life!"

Flaming Lips are well known for having people in interesting costumes with them when they play live. Superman was the first of many fancy dressed companions along for the ride, a group of Father Christmases, some eight-foot astronauts, and a bunch of aliens were also present.

The hugely popular 'Race for the Prize' opened the set, but it was the second song which really caught the imagination.

"We were unsure whether it would be appropriate to play this next song, but if you sing this with us it will help England win on Sunday," Coyne told the crowd, before launching into a quite brilliant cover of Queen's 'Bohemian Rapsidy'.

The new album 'At War With the Mystics' was only briefly drawn from with 'Free Radicals' being one which went down pretty well. This was followed by another classic crowd pleaser in the shape of 'Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots'.

As well as giving you something memorable to look at, Flaming Lips make sure the audience participation is of the highest order. 'Yeah Yeah Yeah Song' was milked as if it was the last time the band would ever play it, and was another in a long line to receive the massive Hyde Park roar of approval.

Remember those aliens? After 'Yeah Yeah Yeah Song' one proposed to another, before the show was rounded off with yet another massive favourite 'Do You Realise'.

On paper this looks to have been a short set, and there was so much going on it flew by. Everyone should experience a Flaming Lips gig at least once, as there are few other bands on this planet who put as much effort into making each show something special.

This occasion was the highpoint of the third day of the O2 Wireless Festival, and Massive Attack had a big job on their hands to follow Wayne Coyne and his traveling circus.