They've "officially" been broken up since 1992, but the Gear Daddies find a way to get back together for a trip down Nostalgia Lane every couple of years or so. The Gears are the musical equivalent of Minnesota comfort food in a way: It always tastes generally the same, but you're different than the last time you had it, so there's something slightly new to be heard every time. The songs are all built around a few universal themes: girls and the joy and trouble they bring, drinking, a less than stellar childhood, and lastly—most importantly—their desire to live a bigger life than their small town (Austin, Minnesota) could offer them. The songs aren't difficult and contain few metaphors; lead singer Martin Zellar wears his heart on his sleeve, sometimes begging you to smash it in. The straightforward nature of his stories will pain you almost as much as they pained him, but when he's having fun you'll regret that you weren't there creating the stories with him. With the Janie Miller Band.
Sat., Aug. 1, 7:30 p.m., 2009