"Ezra Furman, we love you," shouts an ecstatic fan from the crowded floor of Brighton Dome, early on this compelling, exuberant and emotionally raw set.

And his reply "that helps, that helps," speaks volumes as Chicago's 'genderqueer rock 'n' roll hero', as he has been described, seems to need the audience to get him through as much as we need him to transport, elate and emotionally connect us with his music which is always powerful and often painful in its honestly and authenticity.

Furman, who writes of depression, faith, sexuality and of being an outsider, has that rare quality in an artist of being able to empathetically tap into our angst along with his own so his gigs can feel like a musical therapy session, and all the better for it.

This is life-affirming stuff, with beloved songs from his last album Perpetual Motion People, including the sublimely simple Ordinary People and the tortured Haunted Head, and from his just-released Transangelic Exodus.

The latter leaves behind some of the cabaret and cartoon to venture into eerie and evocative other-worldly road trip territory, where angels have wings of tinfoil and cigarettes found in the street and Furman is emotionally in flight. The world refugee crisis, he explains, has been influencing the songs.

Suck the Blood from My Wound, Driving Down to LA, God Lifts Up the Lonely and Love You So Bad are delivered with seering power and urgency.

And the backdrop of film footage, which illustrates this strange journey he is on to great effect, accompanies Maraschino Red Dress $8.99 at Goodwill with the meticulous cutting and making of an actual red dress.

A cover of Kate Bush's Hounds of Love is unexpected and a treat, and his band, newly christened The Visions, suited and booted in white, are as tight as ever. There were a few technical issues - a bass cable went awry and the saxophone, a key instrument in Furman's repertoire, broke - but these didn't matter a jot to the Dome devotees.

'I'm so glad you came,' he says on more than one occasion. And the sentiment is so, so much reciprocated for this adopted Brighton son.

Susan Gilson