The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a tradition for generations celebrating Thanksgiving over the years and in the last few decades has been an excellent showcase for both popular musicians and Broadway performers. Stay tuned as Music Times keeps you up to date with the performances in New York City as they happen.
9:00: The parade kicks off with a performance of "It's A Helluva Town" from the Broadway musical On The Town, featuring dancing sailors, sharp-looking dams and, yeah, Matt Lauer.
9:13: Tony Danza starring in Honeymoon In Vegas! And, surprisingly, he's got a voice for singing. We sympathize with the showgirl dancers and their exposed legs...at least the guys get to dress in faux-Elvis Presley get-ups. We enjoy the previous NYC send-up more.
9:20: Jefferson Mays stars in A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder, although his two female companions steal the spotlight in their respective bits during "I've Decided To Marry You." Our fellow couch critic complains of too much vibrato. Shrug? This is essentially the same performance seen at this year's Tony Awards so no worries if you missed it.
9:28: "Ready to Play" from the Broadway musical Sideshow opens with a pair of (faux) conjoined twins, which although not actually attached, has to involve a hell of a choreography training routine (not to mention finding two actresses that look the same and can sing). Reminds us of the cult classic album from Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley: Evelyn Evelyn.
9:36: Finally! A musician that we as mainstream American listeners have heard of! Of course, it's Sting promoting and singing lead in his musical The Last Ship. Having not heard any tunes from the musical before, we're impressed with his accent, although he needs some work on the acting part of being a Broadway star. Our fellow couch critic laughs at his dancing, although as his character is supposed to be drunk, it seems perfectly well-planned to us.
9:45: NBC takes special care to promote Peter Pan in light of its forthcoming live airing of the musical. We don't get to hear from Captain Hook aka Christopher Walken unfortunately, but we do get an interview with Allison Williams, who will playing the title character. We do get a live performance medley however, which features neither of the show's stars. NBC realizes it already has us hooked with Walken's inevitable appearance.
9:51: The highlight for all dads everywhere, the Radio City Rockettes and their 22-pairs (if we count correctly) of perfectly symetrical legs take to the square to perform "There's No Place Like Home For The Holidays." There's a temporary technical glitch right as the famous line-o-legs kicking begins but fortunately it gets righted in time as to not ruin your correspondent's father's holiday.
9:56: Our father's other wish, that an actual marching band would appear, is also granted.
10:02: The first pop performance of the morning: Lucy Hale performs "Lie A Little Better," supposedly off of her Grand Ole Opry debut. We predict that Hale will be officially going pop in less albums than it took Taylor Swift to come straight with it. Speaking of which, stay tuned for a performance from the current queen of music sales.
10:06: Interesting. Some "Wranglerettes" from Texas seem to provide leg-kicking competition to The Rockettes. But they're also in high school so CALM DOWN.
10:07: "They're still around?" is the instant reaction from our partner in crime as The Madden Brothers (aka Joel and Benji Madden of Good Charlotte) take their pop act to the streets of New York, with company from NHL hockey players.
10:09: Special kudos to the American Fork High School Band, for having 42 members that are Eagle Scouts, if nothing else.
10:11: Becky G performs "Can't Stop Dancing" with Dora The Explorer and Diego, albeit only briefly.
10:15: The cast of Sesame Street makes its annual appearance although it's clear that some of the Muppets are lip-syncing (we're looking at you, Grover).
10:19: The high school marching bands are where it's at: Baldwinsville High School performs a medley of Daft Punk singles for its time on national television.
10:20: Meghan Trainor takes to the Goldilocks float to sing her new single "Lips Are Movin'" and unfortunately not one of her new Thanksgiving Carols that were exposed on Jimmy Kimmel Live! a few days ago.
10:24: The New Orleans Baby Doll Ladies apparently can't get enough attention from their own Mardi Gras parades down south so they came north.
10:25: William Blake finally gives us a taste of a true Thanksgiving song, and we remember why we prefer Christmas carols: Thanksgiving songs are about food and pretty much nothing else. No self-righteous carol should feature the phrase "stuff your face."
10:25: American Authors performs its "Best Day of My Life" on a Cracker Jack-sponsored baseball stadium-themed float. We had hoped Romeo Santos would be the star on the float, considering that he sold out two dates at New York's Yankee Stadium earlier this year.
10:34: Nick Jonas is performing on the Caribbean-themed float, performing his single "Jealous," which came in at no. 7 on the Digital Downloads charts this week. Again, this would have been a great place for Santos, who hails from Puerto Rico and therefore represents the Caribbean. Snowfall has started to fall.
10:37: SeaWorld, unsurprisingly, couldn't book a musical act in the current political climate.
10:43: The Red Hot Mamas are either playing up the sterotypes of how elderly women dress, or they're actively trying to resemble Twisted Sister as they dance to "We're Not Gonna Take It."
10:44: They couldn't book One Direction but we'll take The Vamps. The members have the challenging task of syncing not only vocals but also their instrumental performances.
10:48: We don't know anything about Girl Meets World, except that it ain't Boy Meets World. However it seems that actress Sabrina Carpenter also aspires to being a pop star.
10:53: Cirque de Soleil gets some props. You can lip-sync, you can pretend to play your instruments but you can't fake those sorts of stunts.
10:58: We haven't heard of Sprout either. Out mother uses this as evidence that we need to get around to providing her with grandchildren so we're less out of touch.
11:01: Interestingly, Dan + Shay perform on the Gibson float, versus an act that uses electric guitars in their music. Yeah, we know, that's an exagerration. But seriously. Gibson needs to book Metallica or something.
11:04: Interestingly, the South Dakota Department of Tourism couldn't find an act from the state to perform on its Mount Rushmore float. Needtobreathe (from South Carolina) does okay. Our fellow viewer points out that the band's home state does have "South" in the title so it was a good attempt. Snow is getting heavier.
11:10: Cheerleaders are dancing to "I Wanna Rock n' Roll All Night." Does this mean KISS itself is coming?!? Yes!!! The band plays the same song and admittedly sound not at all synced (although we don't believe this guitar solo at all). Paul Stanley looks unusually metal thanks to the trenchcoat he's sporting to stay warm. "OH MAN!" declares Al Roker. "That's one for the ages!" Eh, we'll give anyone kudos for actually singing.
11:14: Another legendary rock act gets referenced—if not actually showing up—as the Georgia State University band plays Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody."
11:15: MKTO reference Michael Jackson and Prince in their track "Classic" but they have a lot of catching up to do.
11:22: The NYPD Police Band makes its annual appearance, which reminds us: If anyone tried to disrupt protests as was previously reported, we haven't seen it.
11:23: Santos finally makes his appearance on the New York Daily News float, singing into a gold microphone. We're reminded of the America Dad cult character Stelio Kontos and his theme song. Just substitute in Romeo's name: "Ro-me-o. Ro-me-o San-tos!"
11:28: We get a sneak-peak at a musical movie we actually want to see: Annie. Star and new Annie Quvenzhané Wallis sings "Hard Knock Life." Unfortunately, Jay Z is a no-show.
11:32: Cole Swindell probably didn't have this weather in mind when he wrote "Chillin' It" but it works out as he performs on the Domino Sugar float.
11:37: We've nevere heard of Before You Exit but we'd much prefer them performing than another Smurfs movie (the band performed its song "Dangerous" on a Smurf-themed quote).
11:39: A high school marching band plays "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift that, unlike KISS, doesn't lead into a performance from the star herself.
11:41: Most viewers have no idea who Renée Fleming but the vocal star sings "Walking in A Winter Wonderland," adding her own mashup/scat/reorganizations as she goes. You can tell her hair has taken the worst of the wet weather.
11:46: The biggest Christmas-album seller of the year thus far (Pentatonix) makes an appearance on the Homewood Suites float. The group is currently at no. 3 on the Billboard 200.
11:51: Idina Menzel, the driving force behind the best-selling album of the year (the Frozen soundtrack) disappoints by not singing "Let It Go" in the wintry clime, but we'll accept "All I Want For Christmas Is You" from her new holiday collection Holiday Wishes.