The versatile, high-energy dance group will be playing with eight members tonight.

Dance the night away to today’s chart-topping hits and your favorite oldies at Thrasher Park Amphitheater tonight. The Atlanta based group, The American Flyers, will be performing from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. To-go picnics are available at the eateries downtown.

The American Flyers play a high-energy, R&B and rock variety show. Their song list boasts hits such as Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face,” “Gold Digger” by Kanye West, the B52’s “Love Shack,” and “I Will Survive” by Gloria Ganor, just to name a few.

They basically play all forms of dance music, their styles and genres ranging from modern R&B and Hip Hop to Classic Rock, Disco, the 80s and Classic Funk to ballads like “Georgia on My Mind.”

They’ve been getting the party started since 2003 when drummer and managing partner, Danny Garret, and a few of his bandmates decided to break away from the band they were in at the time. “We all wanted to do something else and play some music we really liked,” he said. “That was the primary reason for forming other than the fact that we could make money.”

They have five core members, all guys, but they can expand up to a 12 person ensemble. On Friday they’ll be doing an eight-person configuration, adding two female vocalists and a percussion player.

The Flyers typically play high-end venues, mainly concerts, weddings, and corporate events. They’ve played the 755 Club above Turner Field during the World Series between the Yankees and the Braves and have also played the Super Bowl.”

“We played an after-party for the Super Bowl for Prudential Insurance,” Garrett explained. “We were right next door to Brooks and Dunn, shared their dressing room and that was a lot of fun.”

Although Garret said it was hard to pick a favorite show out of the many they’ve played over the past decade, his favorite was when they were scheduled to open for Dionne Warwick. She had a family crisis and couldn’t perform so the concert promoter asked them to do the whole show.

“We did about a two and a half-hour show and we had a captive audience of about 5,000 people,” Garrett said. “Being the opening act sometimes you don’t really get that much of billing, you know, but in this case, we were a lot more than they expected.”

The American Flyers is a full-time endeavor for the bandmates. Garrett said they stay busy but he still finds time to teach drums and music theory to kids of all ages in the Gwinnett area. You can find more information about Garrett’s classes on his website.

Garrett himself discovered music at a young age; he knew he was a musician by the ripe old age of 10. He said he gets the same thing out of playing with The American Flyers now as what originally made him want to play music.

“The thrill is the same thing you first experience, in my case about 12 years old playing in my high school buddy’s band, the smallest, younger guy,” he explained. “(It’s) that buzz you get from the applause and the appreciation.”

You can appreciate the American Flyers for free at the park this Friday. Their specialty is creating an atmosphere where people have a good time. Garrett said it’s really all about the crowd; they play what people want to hear.

When asked what people can expect at the concert he said, “Energy and participation and their favorite songs. And we hope they all get up and dance the night away with us.”

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