DEBORAH SENGUPTA STITH
Noon. Natalie Prass (American Express): After the 2016 election, Prass scrapped her intended sophomore album and created “The Future and the Past,” a deceptively upbeat collection that layers polished pop melodies over deep pocket grooves while sliding in ample bad girl rallying cries.
12:45 p.m. Cuco (Homeaway): This season’s unlikely heartthrob is a self-deprecating young Chicano who writes sunny, Spanglish loves songs, dreamy psychedelic meanderings with catchy choruses and a vibe that captures the aching impermanence of summer romance.
1:45 p.m. Bishop Briggs (American Express): Propelled by furious, foot-stomping soul, “Church of Scars,” the latest from the 26-year-old artist who was born in London and raised in Tokyo, is one of the year’s most cathartic breakup albums.
2:45 p.m. Noname (Homeaway): “Room 25,” the studio debut from the Chicago rapper who came up in the same youth poetry program as Chance the Rapper, is a stunning platter, rich with lyrical dexterity and lush, jazzy grooves.
3:45 p.m. David Byrne (American Express): Performing with a perfectly choreographed 12-piece ensemble, Byrne put in one of the most talked about non-Beyonce performances at Coachella this year and his “American Utopia” tour has been earning rave reviews across the country.
4:45 p.m. Jungle (Barton Springs): Tonally, Jungle’s new album, “For Ever,” is more melancholy and emotionally weighty than their 2015 self-titled debut, adding another dimension to one of the most interesting bands working at the intersection of dance, pop and soul.
5:45 p.m. Khalid (Honda): Less than two years after the 20-year-old singer released “Young, Dumb and Broke,” he’s one of the biggest pop stars on the planet.
6:45 p.m. Brockhampton (Miller Lite): Not your mama’s boy band, the indie juggernaut with roots in San Marcos mixes funky R&B grooves with snappy rhymes.
7:45 p.m. Paul McCartney (American Express): Speaking of the biggest stars on the planet, the former Beatle is a living legend and a phenomenal live performer.
Noon. Molly Burch (Barton Springs): Burch honed her smoky tones through classical jazz training that lends sophistication to her modern classic, honky-tonk jukebox tunes.
12:45 p.m. Jackie Venson (Tito’s): A pianist by training, blues artist Venson was attracted to the electric guitar because it sounds like a voice. The way she makes a six-string sing is entrancing.
1:30 p.m. Durand Jones & the Indications (Miller Lite): Bayou-born soul singer Durand Jones belts out searing tales of struggle that echo the crucial protest anthems of the ‘60s and are just as vital today.
2:30 p.m. Mon Laferte (Honda): The Chilean folk-pop artist layers catchy melodies into lovely compositions often anchored by traditional Latin percussion.
3:30 p.m. Sweet Spirit (BMI): Placing Austin’s glam pop powerhouse against indie rock classics from the Breeders creates a huge conundrum for fans of ladies who rock, but Sabrina Ellis is one of the most electrifying performers alive right now and we’re cutting for the home team.
4:30 p.m. Brandi Carlisle (Honda): How about a rootsy, mid-afternoon interlude?
5:30 p.m. Blood Orange (Miller Lite): R&B innovator Devonte Hynes floats dreamy melodies through sensuous sound beds ornamented with confessional spoken word passages on his latest, “Negro Swan,” a quiet album that unfurls as a meditation on love, injustice and otherness.
6:30 p.m. Chvrches (Honda): If you’re “looking for angels in the darkest of skies,” look no further. The feisty Scottish synth pop trio will stretch your spirit to the “highest of highs.”
7:30 p.m. St. Vincent (Miller Lite): One of the most captivating indie rock songwriters working today, the artist a.k.a. Annie Clark put in a stunning performance at her "Austin City Limits" taping earlier this year.
8 p.m. Metallica (American Express): Maybe you owe it to yourself to see the metal titans wreck shop in Zilker Park, but we won’t judge if you go home early.
11:30 a.m. Sailor Poon (Barton Springs): Good morning, sinners. Here’s a blast of brash noise and wicked wit to knock out any day three exhaustion.
12:15 p.m. Amber Mark (American Express): A lifetime of world travel informs the sound beds Mark creates to explore the rich textures of her deep voice.
2 p.m. Twin Shadow (American Express): Though the the synth pop maestro, rebounding from a devastating tour bus accident in 2015, called his new album “Caer,” Spanish for “to fall,” his dramatic pop orchestration won’t leave you feeling downtrodden. It’s a panoramic triumph.
3 p.m. Injury Reserve (BMI): As grouchy old hip-hop heads will tell you, there’s something about a good hip-hop group. This trio of Phoenix rappers have the essential chemistry to build off each other’s rhymes in a way that elevates the work.
4 p.m. Janelle Monae (American Express): Evolving her “ArchAndroid” persona, Monae’s latest is a glorious celebration of humanity. She revels in the identities she claims — black, female, queer — defiantly reminding us America’s diversity is our strength.
5 p.m. Tinashe (Miller Lite): A solid stage show brings good songs to life and at South by Southwest this year, the smoky R&B artist’s dance team lit a fire behind her blunted soul.
6:30 p.m. Camila Cabello (American Express): Cabello’s debut album “Camila” landed at the top of the Billboard 200 chart when it dropped in January, and since then the sultry lead single “Havana” has racked up over a billion (yes, with a b) spins on Spotify. Stake out your spot early for this 21-year-old on the rise.
7:30 p.m. Sylvan Esso (Homeaway): Amelia Meath’s sharp-witted lyricism and wistful melodies combine with Nick Sanborn’s appealing electro grooves to create one of the smartest festival-rocking outfits working today.
8:45 p.m. Travis Scott (American Express): It might not fill the Childish Gambino-sized hole in our hearts, but the Houston rapper’s new album “Astroworld” is very good.
11:15 a.m. Coronas (Barton Springs): How cool is it that Paul McCartney Day at ACL Fest opens with this Irish band that opened a show for him in Dublin in 2010? And they're quite good. Arrive early, folks.
Noon. Asleep at the Wheel (Honda): The only act to play every single ACL Fest extends their streak. They have a great new album, "New Routes." And they might sneak a Sir Paul cover into the setlist.
12:30 p.m. Barton Hills Choir (Austin Kiddie Limits): Past BHC sets have been about the sit-in special guests, but this year it's all about the music: The choir will salute McCartney by performing the entire "Abbey Road" side-B suite. Andy Harn from local tribute band HeartByrne will join in for a David Byrne salute.
12:45 p.m. Big Thief (Barton Springs): With two albums on influential label Saddle Creek, the Brooklyn quartet led by Adrianne Lenker and Buck Meek has become an indie-rock rising star in the past couple of years.
2:15 p.m. Weather Station (Tito’s): With a half-dozen releases since 2008, Canadian singer-songwriter Tamara Lindeman's band has been one of the most creative and engaging indie-folk bands of the past decade.
2:45 p.m. Alvvays (Miller Lite): We'll stick with with the Canucks for a follow-up: Singer-guitarist Molly Rankin's band has played Austin a lot in recent years, but we're always glad to have them back because their indie-pop songs are radiant, dreamy and spellbinding.
3:45 p.m. David Byrne (American Express): At this year's ACL Fest, maybe only McCartney has changed popular music more than Byrne. Talking Heads were a launching pad but far from an endpoint to his fascinating career, which this year has blossomed with the new album "American Utopia" and a creative stage show that has received raves everywhere he's taken it.
4:45 p.m. Greta Van Fleet (Miller Lite): It's hard to deny the Led Zep influence of this Michigan band built around brothers Josh, Sam and Jake Kiszka. Two EPs have primed the Oct. 19 release of their first full-length album, "Anthem of the Peaceful Army."
5:45 p.m. The National (American Express): One of the biggest American rock bands of the 21st century, singer Matt Berninger's group got their first Grammy earlier this year, winning Best Alternative Music Album for 2017's "Sleep Well Beast."
6:45 p.m. Father John Misty (Barton Springs): Josh Tillman's "persona" often feels contrived to the point of ridiculous. And yet the music is often captivating. We caught him at his last ACL Fest appearance in 2015, and will probably give him another chance here.
7:45 p.m. Paul McCartney (American Express): The big push for Sir Paul this year is his new album "Egypt Station," and he'll do several songs from it in a fest set that's scheduled to run more than two hours. But we all know that it's the Beatles stuff people want to hear the most. Recent set lists indicate he'll play a lot of those classics, as well as a few favorites from the Wings era. If, like a mid-September show in Montreal, the show includes "I've Just Seen a Face," "Blackbird," "Lady Madonna," "Back in the U.S.S.R." and "Eleanor Rigby," I'll go home happy.
Noon. Dizzy (BMI): The Canadian indie-pop outfit shares a label with fellow ACL Fest band Alvvays, and an auspicious appearance at SXSW earlier this year has us eager to hear more.
1:30 p.m. Durand Jones & the Indications (Miller Lite): From Indiana via Louisiana, Jones plays sweet soul music with tight rhythms and horn accents from the Indications on their 2016 self-titled debut.
3:15 p.m. Breeders (HomeAway): Back with the same lineup that made their acclaimed 1993 alt-rock album "Last Splash," sisters Kim and Kelley Deal released a new Breeders record, "All Nerve," earlier this year.
4:30 p.m. Brandi Carlile (Honda): Back in town after a memorable "Austin City Limits" taping in April to support her new album "By the Way, I Forgive You," Carlile is near the top of an impressive crop of female singer-songwriters at this year's fest.
5:30 p.m. Sharon Van Etten (Barton Springs): The Brooklyn indie singer-songwriter took a break after 2014's "Are We There" to have her first child, but a new album is coming soon, preceded by this welcome return to the stage.
6:30 p.m. Chrvches (Honda): Winners of SXSW's inaugural Grulke Prize in 2013 before their first album came out, the Scottish synth-pop trio has made good on all the promise, with three striking records to their name including this year's "Love Is Dead."
7:30 p.m. St. Vincent (Miller Lite): Sunday headliner Travis Scott is probably the top-drawing Texan on this year's ACL Fest bill, but Dallas-raised St. Vincent might be the most groundbreaking performer, judging from her spectacular taping of the "Austin City Limits" TV show earlier this year.
11:15 a.m. Relatives (Tito’s): The recent losses of the Rev. Gean West and Tony Corbitt were a tough blow for the Metroplex group, but they'll still bring their great gospel sound to help kick off another ACL Fest Sunday in style.
12:15 p.m. Texas Gentlemen (Tito’s): Known partly for acting as an ace backing crew with other artists, the country and roots-rock ensemble from Dallas stepped into the spotlight last year with "TX Jelly" on New West Records.
1 p.m. Mt. Joy (Barton Springs): Dualtone Records, home to Austin acts Shakey Graves and Wild Child, released the self-titled debut album by this folk-rock band from Philadelphia earlier this year, after their folk-rock song "Astrovan" became an out-of-nowhere 2016 indie hit.
2 p.m. Twin Shadow (American Express): An actor and novelist in addition to his musical career, Twin Shadow (aka George Lewis Jr.) has made four albums of compelling pop music that mixes elements of synth-pop, soul, R&B and new wave.
3 p.m. Parquet Courts (Barton Springs): It's mostly about the noise with this garage-punk foursome from New York, though their new Dangermouse-produced album "Wide Awake!" works some dance grooves into the mix.
4:30 p.m. Lisa Loeb (Austin Kiddie Limits): How many performers in the history of the Austin Kiddie Limits stage have had a Billboard No. 1 pop single? Loeb probably will save 1994's "Stay (I Missed You)" for her Monday "grown-ups" show at Scoot Inn, but she's had quite a run with kids' music as well, releasing five children's albums since 2003.
5 p.m. Houndmouth (Barton Springs): The Indiana indie-pop band was a big hit at ACL Fest in 2015, but they had to regroup after the loss of keyboardist-singer Katie Toupin. They're touring now behind their new Warner Bros. album "Golden Age."
6:30 p.m. Camila Cabello (American Express): After three albums with pop outfit Fifth Harmony, Cabello topped the charts with her debut album "Camila" earlier this year. She also had a big hit with Machine Gun Kelly on "Bad Things," a song that adapted its chorus from Austin band Fastball's late-'90s hit "Out of My Head."
7 p.m. Shakey Graves (Barton Springs): The native Austinite has had great moments at ACL Fest before. This time he'll play on the fest's newest stage, highlighting songs from his new album "Can't Wake Up," released in April on Dualtone.
11:15 a.m. RF Shannon (BMI): Remember the locals when you’re drawing up a game plan. Sure, we could theoretically catch the meditative, country-tinged balladeer at an area haunt like Cheer Ups, but you never go out on Mondays.
Noon. Natalie Prass (American Express): The Richmond, Virginia, songwriter flirts with disco on this summer’s “The Future and the Past” and her pop instincts are indelible even if her best song remains 2015’s post-Carpenters “My Baby Don’t Understand Me.”
12:45 p.m. Big Thief (Barton Springs): “Shark Smile” is a transcendent, punchy, rye-washed love ballad you won’t be able to quit.
2:45 p.m. Alvvays (Miller Lite): “Archie, Marry Me” showcased the Toronto indie band’s confessional chops, with its dry wit and frank arguments. In the era of Spotify singles for hipster barbershops, it’s an all-timer.
4:45 p.m. Manchester Orchestra (HomeAway): Andy Hull is a former emo prodigy who recorded a bunch of interesting songs as a teen. Now 31, his band has a low-key muscular back catalog of good songs, none better than “Pensacola,” an anthemic ode to the hot and muggy American South.
5:45 p.m. Khalid (Honda): This El Paso 20-year-old’s singles are a Beat 104.9 FM mainstay. They’re also ham-fisted and indistinguishable, but the good vibes will reverberate across thousands of Instagram Stories.
6:45 p.m. Father John Misty (Barton Springs): Last year at Bass Concert Hall, the rambling man buttoned-up the between-songs standup and sang his heart out. Laborious mansplaining is on its way out in rock, thankfully, but Josh Tillman still carries the torch for observational lyrics about human contradictions.
7:45 p.m. Paul McCartney (American Express): Is Macca slowing down? The comments of a recent YouTube concert griped about his voice cracking, and yes, the high parts of “A Hard Day’s Night” weren’t great. But he's 76, and I’m savoring every note we get from the invigorated, still-experimenting legend.
Noon. Molly Burch (Barton Springs): The “Downhearted” singer moved to Texas in 2013 and, like tech bros flocking to Mueller, immediately fit in.
2:45 p.m. Curtis Harding (Tito's): This garage-soul balladeer writes the best rock music that Saginaw, Michigan, has produced since Question Mark & the Mysterians’ “96 Tears.”
3:30 p.m. Japanese Breakfast (Barton Springs): Michelle Zauner proved herself a leading rock voice with 2017’s “Soft Sounds From Another Planet,” a dream-pop breakthrough that tears through its keyboards with one soaring song after another.
5:15 p.m. Bazzi (HomeAway): A catchy R&B song became a Snapchat fixation in March, and the teens rocketed “Mine” up the Billboard charts. Memes killed the video star.
5:30 p.m. Sharon Van Etten (Barton Springs): We’re longtime fans of the New Jersey songwriter because her storytelling is fearless.
6 p.m. Deftones (American Express): In high school, my friend Ramsey got the “White Pony” logo tatted on his bicep. Don’t stop believin’.
7 p.m. Nelly (HomeAway): “Hot In Herre” is in the yearbook as the Crockett high school class of 2003’s official song. Will South Austin be in the house on Saturday?
7:30 p.m. St. Vincent (Miller Lite): Anne Erin Clark’s barn-burning set at ACL 2014 seems like just yesterday. Let’s hope she plays “Rattlesnake” again.
8 p.m. Metallica (American Express): Lars Ulrich recently spoke at a tech conference about how much he enjoys sales software. Times change, but the licks from “Sad But True” don’t.
11:15 a.m. Relatives (Tito's): Local soul, done right. (With weathered, myth-making grit.)
11:30 a.m. Sailor Poon (Barton Springs): Local punk, done right. (With a middle finger to the patriarchy, good songs and savage antics.)
12:15 p.m. Shame (Honda): The U.K. sends us a bunch of angry lads with post-punk flair. (Anyone remember Eagulls?) Let’s see what this South London outfit can do.
2 p.m. Twin Shadow (American Express): This self-serious indie rock heartthrob combines pulsing drum machines, decorative guitars and nostalgia for the '80s into denim jacket-clad crooning. You'll roll your eyes, then tap your foot.
3 p.m. Injury Reserve (BMI): I have a soft spot for outsider rappers from boring places (Arizona) who like the internet.
5 p.m. Tinashe (Miller Lite): In 2014, we were sure she was the next Rihanna. Instead the R&B singer is a “Dancing With the Stars” contender with an underrated solo catalog.
6 p.m. Phoenix (Honda). So much bad rock music soundtracks commercials for laptops these days that it’s easy to overlook rock music that is blandly fit for a CVS run.
6:30 p.m. Camila Cabello (American Express): Day 3 is ACL's youthful closeout, a smart pivot from the quiet riots of Arcade Fire (2011), Dave Matthews (2009) and Coldplay (2005) that soothingly tapered off past iterations of the festival. Who's ready to dance?
8:45 p.m. Travis Scott (American Express): “Astroworld,” named after the defunct Houston theme park, is an album of the year. Brazenly performed and ripe with devastating drops, its sonic booms are blaring from the factory stereo of every Juul-ripping area teen’s hand-me-down Acura. Bring the noise.
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