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ACL Live Shot (Second Weekend): The Preservation

Kinksian harmonies mingled with Americana psych-pop

By Melanie Haupt, 9:20AM, Sat. Oct. 12, 2013

The Matteolis early on Friday at ACL Fest’s second weekend
The Matteolis early on Friday at ACL Fest’s second weekend
photo by John Anderson

Friday morning, this Austin quintet was one of the first bands out of the gates, keyboardist Cayce Matteoli looking like she’d just stepped from the pages of the Native American Flapper fall catalog, complete with bobbed hair, a fringed gown bearing a vaguely Southwestern print, impeccable makeup, and a cute vintage-looking headband.

While the Preservation remains very much a group effort, led by Matteoli’s husband Mario (guitar/vox) and fellow frontman Andy Bianculli (piano/guitar/vox), Ms. Matteoli – being the only player in costume – was arguably the focal point.

The approximately 100 people present for this dreary, rainy, early-morning ACL Fest set was a diverse crowd, from Eastside hipsters to AARPers with beers in hand at 11:20am. Perhaps they were attracted to the music of their youth, the DNA of which is laid bare in the local ensemble’s Kinksian harmonies mingled with Americana psych-pop. The slyly suggestive “Hugs” and darkly boppy “Still Be Your Friend,” both appearing on the recent Friends EP, proved the point sharply.

Despite the fact that the Preservation sounded tight and polished, it’s a shame Ms. Matteoli doesn’t have more to do. While she contributed keyboards and backing vocals, her positioning at the front of the stage – as opposed to the side or back with the rhythm section – suggested she’d be more of a player rather than just set dressing while Mssrs. Matteoli and Bianculli traded off in the lead role.

Might she be ready for her close-up?


For more ACL Fest coverage, see austinchronicle.com/acl. For photo galleries from the fest, see austinchronicle.com/photos.
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