Deborah Sengupta Stith
Noon. Leopold and His Fiction (Austin Ventures): You’re trying to start your fest with a bang, right? The gutsy, adrenaline drenched rock of sometimes-Austin-based Daniel Leopold will set it off right.
1 p.m. Son Little (Austin Ventures): Singer-songwriter Aaron Livingston melds elements of blues, soul and rock in a searing mix.
2 p.m. Nate Ruess or Jessica Hernandez? (Honda, BMI): I’m a sucker for the carpe diem, grandiose rock aspirations of Fun. frontman Ruess, but I also love the doo-wop, rockabilly laced soul of Hernandez. The BMI stage has shade, which might factor into the decision.
3 p.m. Cherub (Miller Lite): Synth-driven electro-funk and “Doses and Mimosas” for your afternoon intoxication interlude.
4 p.m. Leon Bridges (Honda): The backlash against Bridges’ astonishingly rapid rise from Fort Worth dishwasher to retro-soul superstar was inevitable, but don’t listen to the detractors. Bridges gracefully unwinds quiet, personal stories delivered directly from his heart.
5 p.m. Run the Jewels (Miller Lite): Last year the duo threw down an explosive collection of necessary, politically charged aggro-rap. Then they announced plans to remix the album with cat sounds. Your attendance is mandatory.
6 p.m. Brandon Flowers (Honda): The Killers’ frontman does sweeping, emotional pop very well.
7 p.m. Gary Clark Jr. (HomeAway): The single most important set on Friday. Hometown hero Clark is a bonafide superstar, a riveting live performer and a new father. He will unleash soaring soul and you will feel it in every fiber of your being.
8 p.m. Disclosure (Honda): ACL Fest offers you a choice of the past or the future. Move forward, my friends.
11:15 a.m. Barton Hills Choir (Tito’s): Improper stage-branding for a children’s performance aside, these elementary schoolers never fail to kick off ACL Fest with a buoyant spirit.
12:15 p.m. American Aquarium (BMI): The hard-touring North Carolina outfit has a fair bit in common with their red-dirt country brethren in Texas and Oklahoma, though their audience crosses into the indie-rock realm as well.
1:30 p.m. Residual Kid (Austin Kiddie Limits): The teenage trio’s punk-rock wall of sound was electrifying enough to catch the ear of industry legend Seymour Stein, who signed them to Sire Records.
2 p.m. Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas (BMI): They hail from Detroit, but spitfire singer Hernandez and her band mix up so many styles into their soulful sound that they seem a natural fit for Austin’s genre-transmogrifying nature.
3 p.m. Albert Hammond Jr. (HomeAway): Punchy, angular guitar rock dominates Strokes guitarist Hammond’s third solo album, “Momentary Masters,” released in July.
4 p.m. Leon Bridges (Honda): Skip the rebel yeller and head toward the soulful crooner, whose debut album “Coming Home” made him one of the fastest-rising stars Texas has ever seen.
5 p.m. Run the Jewels (Miller Lite): A hit at Fun Fun Fun Fest last fall, the duo of El-P and Killer Mike is a good bet to deliver the best set of the weekend for hip-hop fans.
6 p.m. Rhiannon Giddens (Tito’s): Already a traditional folk Grammy winner with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Giddens stepped out on her own this year with the spectacular T Bone Burnett-produced album “Tomorrow Is My Turn.”
7 p.m. Gary Clark Jr. (HomeAway): There’s no better hometown representative for ACL than Clark, who played the first two fests as a teen. As his new song says, this music is our healing.
8 p.m. Foo Fighters (Samsung Galaxy): It’ll be hard to top the band’s marathon “Austin City Limits” TV taping at ACL Live, but a whole lot more people will get to hear them in Zilker.
Noon. Leopold and His Fiction (Austin Ventures): Daniel Leopold may look like an old-timey Victorian boxing champ, but his Fiction’s sound is 100 percent raw-throated, blues-rock sex appeal. That’s the truth.
1 p.m. The Maccabees (Miller Lite): What sound does your mind conjure when you think “British indie”? Well, here you go. A tincture of Bloc Party’s freneticism.
2 p.m. Royal Blood (Samsung Galaxy): There’s always been something very “ACL Fest” about impossibly loud, violent guitar noise in the punishing afternoon sun.
4 p.m. Billy Idol (Samsung Galaxy): Booking the “Rebel Yell” snarler was the fest’s good-faith gesture at keeping it weird this year. I don’t see how one could not show up for this.
5 p.m. Run the Jewels (Miller Lite): I also don’t see how one could skip the most politically necessary hip-hop act of 2015 to go listen to Brand New’s Jesse Lacey replay his mid-2000s journal scribbles. (Note: I also like Jesse Lacey’s mid-2000s journal scribbles.)
6 p.m. Brandon Flowers (Honda): Speaking of the mid-2000s, the Killers’ frontman sashays into Zilker Park as the owner of one of the most outsized, glammed-out pop-rock albums of the year.
7 p.m. George Ezra (Austin Ventures): For your “how is that person making that sound with their mouth” moment of the weekend.
8 p.m. Foo Fighters (Samsung Galaxy): Some people say that booking the ultimate rock dads as a headliner was lazy. Some people also need to hear the Grohlspel badly. Show up to the revival.