Chicago tribute band Leonid & Friends to perform at Iron City—see their unique backstory

Leonid & Friends
Leonid & Friends are bringing the sound of Chicago to Iron City on Tuesday, May 31. (Leonid & Friends)

If you love the sound of American supergroup Chicago, you can’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind tribute band coming to Iron City on Tuesday, May 31. Comprised of 11 talented musicians from Russia, Moldova and Belarus—and a former member in Ukraine—Leonid & Friends have perfected their craft, recreating your favorite Chicago songs note for note. Read on for their unique backstory.

Not your average tribute band

With over 110 million views on their YouTube videos, it’s safe to say Leonid & Friends have achieved viral success that many only dream of. Using only recordings and videos of Chicago, Leonid & Friends impeccably recreate the complex arrangements of the famous band.

The eclectic band was founded in 2014 by Leonid Vorobyev. Shortly following his retirement, Leonid grabbed his buddies to record a cover of Chicago’s song Brand New Love Affair (Parts I & II), transcribing the entire musical score by ear. After going viral on YouTube, they kept up the act and Leonid & Friends was born.

This isn’t the band’s first rodeo in the US, finishing up a highly successful tour in late 2021. According to Los Angeles Daily News, their work has even gone as far as to reach founding Chicago drummer Danny Seraphine, who performed with them at one of their sold-out LA shows. Plus, original band member Robert Lamm visited them during a soundcheck—so you know they’re the real deal.

Riding the wave of their success, Leonid & Friends were gearing up to get back on another tour when tragedy struck. Early on this year, the world was shaken by the invasion of Ukraine. Leonid & Friends were directly impacted by these events, with band members from both Russia and Ukraine.

On April 10, it was announced that Ukrainian vocalist Serge Tiagnyriadno has left the band to support his elderly parents along with his community back home in Kyiv. In support of their bandmate and friend, Leonid & Friends have been promoting a GoFundMe page directly benefiting Serge, his family and home country. You can contribute here.

Finding unity through music

Leonid & Friends
Ukrainian native Serge Tiagnyriadno performing with his bandmate. (Leonid & Friends / Facebook)

Following the events in Ukraine, Serge Tiagnyriadno’s life was flipped upside down overnight. He spoke with Los Angeles Daily News, detailing the horrific events occurring in his hometown of Kyiv. According to the report, he scrambled to usher his family to safety in nearby Poland as he stayed behind to care for his elderly parents and fight for his home country.

Serge is currently watching the horrors of the war from his window, volunteering where he can and supporting his fellow Ukrainians.

“We pray for the safety and well-being of Serge and his family and we will continue to offer our help and support. And we really hope to meet and hug him again at some point in the future.”

Leonid & Friends, in a statement on Facebook

The talented vocalist has been active on his Facebook page, offering several resources including direct ways to support Ukraine during these times. Additionally, Serge has been able to release his first solo album, Songs from the Other Side of the Planet, dedicated to making a difference through music.

Leonid & Friends have long believed that “music is the magic” that helps people get through challenging times, and it would appear that Serge and his former band are finding light through sharing their talents.

Experience Leonid & Friends

Leonid & Friends have released three critically acclaimed albums since their inception, garnering over 500,000 followers on social media and thousands of fans across the globe.

As they advocate for peace, the band is spreading their music across the country. Tickets are still available to catch them in concert at Iron City on Tuesday, May 31.

Learn more about the passionate band and their talents here.

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Gabby Gervais
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