'Nuuuu-maaaan, nuuu-maaaan'. The crowd chants in deep and impatient tones, as if calling out to a player on the pitch. The stage glows red and synth tones fill the Academy. Patiently they build, snarling, screeching. Flashing white lights attack the senses. The future is coming and there's nowhere for you to run.
As those famous synth hooks beamed out, as big and alien as they must have been in 1979, prominent metallic guitar and amped-up bass beefed up the sound. Numan's come a long way since his 'machine' phase and you could hear the industrial, goth and metal sounds that he frequented from the mid-90s pulsing through last night's set. It was synth-pop reborn with devil horns and it was incredible.
The light show helped of course, making us feel as though we were being visited from beyond. Strobes, beams and beautiful oranges and pinks blended to bring Numan's past into the visceral present. And eventually it felt as though were all outside of time.
Numan himself cut a stunning silhouette. As a performer you can clearly see the lineage passing down from Bowie, through Numan and on to those like Brett Anderson of Suede: the movement, the theatricality and that unmistakable androgynous sexiness.
His voice cut through the full-to-the-limit sound, as discordant as you remember, breathing air into each track. You didn't feel for a second that he was doing anything by rote. He gave everything as though it was nothing.
And it really was everything, as he later tweeted: 'There is a place on Earth hotter than the Sun: On stage at the O2 Academy in Oxford. That's my opinion anyway.' Come on O2 – sort your air con out. We were all sweltering in there last night! Not that it dampened our spirits.
Crammed into a sold-out show, we were all moving, all chanting, all reaching out with E.T. like fingers as Numan stretched out towards us, fingertips sending ripples through the air. I left completely buzzed having witnessed one of the best gigs I have seen all year. Totally unexpected; utterly amazing.