Band of the Week Flashdance.jpg

Band of the Week: Flashdance

Do you ever wonder what a rock band with five female vocalists sounds like? Wonder no more: Flashdance is here to answer the call.

The group, which has been touring the southern New Jersey area for a couple of years, will rock the Eden Lounge at Harrah's Resort all weekend long. Flashdance is ready, willing and more than able to wow you. Just ask one of the five female lead vocalists, Izabelle Gagnon.

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"Whoever you are, whatever you like, we have something for you, so expect to have a great time," Gagnon says. "We play songs that everyone likes, but it's not just about the repertoire; it's also about the show. We create a show that you'll love watching. We've got the energy, the dancing, the singing. It's really contagious. If you're skeptical, just come and see us for yourself."

That's a lot of enthusiasm for one member of an eight-piece band, so you can pretty much bank on a fun-filled show. But besides the sounds, there is a unique vibe and quality to Flashdance that will keep you coming back for more.

"When people first look at us, they think Spice Girls or Pussycat Dolls, and we're getting used to that," Gagnon says. "It's normal to be compared to other all-girl groups, but even though there are some similarities, when they see the whole performance, it always changes their minds. Our concept is totally different, and so is our vibe. Flashdance is truly unique."

A testament to their rare and intriguing qualities is their global appeal. Flashdance has wowed audiences around the world, which makes them stopping in southern New Jersey even more sensational.

"We perform in many countries," Gagnon says. "The U.S.A., Canada and, of course, Mexico, Indonesia, China and Malaysia. We were actually in Malayasia for three months and people began to recognize us on the street."

Flashdance was featured in several Malaysian and Asian magazines, as well as on television during its tour.

"Asian people are thirsty for Western-style entertainment," explains Gagnon. "We were very popular down there."

Roster: Izabelle Gagnon, lead vocals; Kathy Bilodeau, lead vocals; Chelsy Fontaine, lead vocals; Maude Paquette, lead vocals; Sandy Grenier, lead vocals; Francois Lemay, keyboards; Karl Auger, drums; Jean-Franccois Hammel, guitar.

What They Sound Like: All of your favorite bands, artists and guilty pleasures wrapped up in a group that features voice as the main instrument. With five lead female vocalists, you're sure to hear great harmonies and varied tones in every song.

What To Expect: Covers of tunes made famous by Guns 'N Roses, AC/DC, The Bee Gees, Billy Idol, Gloria Gaynor, Joan Jett, Gloria Estefan, Aerosmith and KC & The Sunshine Band.

Musical Influences: The group mainly performs and is influenced by Top 40 genres including pop, R&B, hip-hop, rock 'n' roll, and a little disco and funk. "We really like the Black Eyed Peas," Gagnon says. "We want to bring original ideas out in our music like they do, and add a groovy feel to all of our songs."

Fan Favorites: Some of the newest tunes you'll love include "I Got A Feeling" by The Black Eyed Peas and "Low" by Flo-Rida. Other new songs include hits by The Pussycat Dolls, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Kat DeLuna.

History: Flashdance originally formed in 1996, but by 2004 the group decided to take a whole new direction, focusing on five lead singers to emphasize the power of singing as a key instrument. "It was easy to say, but hard to find five girls with charisma, a great voice, beauty and dancing abilities," Gagnon recalls. "And they had to have good attitudes and work together well." In the end, Flashdance did come together, and they have been performing as their dream ensemble ever since. When performing its original music, Flashdance goes by the name Akasha.

Go See Them: Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 1 to 4, at the Eden Lounge inside Harrah's Resort, Atlantic City. Friday's and Saturday's shows begin at midnight, while the other performances kick off at 8 p.m.

- Photo provided by Flashdance; story by Rebecca Grites

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