Russian band covering Chicago tunes packs SummerSounds in Greensburg
Friends of SummerSounds Chairman Gene James knew people from New York, Maryland and Virginia who were traveling to Greensburg on Friday evening to watch Leonid & Friends, a Russian band covering hits by American pop group Chicago.
But it was nearly impossible for him to point them out in a crowd about three times the size of the typical SummerSounds audience.
“We average about 2,500,” James said as the band performed a spot-on version of “Make Me Smile” to open the show.
“I bet we’ll get 8,000 people before the night’s done.”
The park was so crowded that spectators were lining up along the fencing outside St. Clair Park barely a half hour into the show.
Bruce Kaufer of Greensburg seemed as though he might be in the wrong place, decked out in a Grateful Dead shirt and hat.
But he definitely wasn’t.
“I saw Chicago in ’73 while I was at college in Scranton,” Kaufer said. “I watched Leonid & Friends on YouTube. They’re just outstanding.
“And to have them in Greensburg is wonderful.”
Kaufer has been watching live streams from the current tour of Dead & Company, made up of three surviving members of the Grateful Dead, but skipped Friday’s show to come check out Leonid & Friends.
Joe Maddas and Helen O’Bradovich of Greensburg also have been watching Leonid & Friends on YouTube and decided to see them at St. Clair Park.
“They’re unbelievable,” O’Bradovich said.
Barry Rearick of Jeannette is a regular at the SummerSounds concerts.
“I don’t always stay the whole time,” Rearick said. “But how can you pass up a free show?”
Several thousand people seemed to agree with him.
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .