Strictly Platonic rocks AEPi
On Saturday, Yale band Strictly Platonic made their 2022-23 school year debut with two new band members in tow.
Gavin Guerrette, Photo Editor
On Saturday night, Yale student band Strictly Platonic performed their first show of the school year at the Alpha Epsilon Pi house.
The band, formed by lead singer Audrey Hempel ’25 and keyboardist Keith Bruce ’25, has earned a storied history in its first year of operation. From opening last year’s Spring Fling Festival to releasing their first songs on streaming platforms, Strictly Platonic continues to make a name for itself in the Yale music scene.
Despite their reputation as an uptempo pop-rock group, Strictly Platonic began their AEPi set on a mellow note, covering The Black Keys’ “Little Black Submarines.” But fans of the track know that the song’s tranquil introduction doesn’t last long — just as the serenity of their opening chords and crooning vocals set in, the house was rocked by a shredding electric guitar, ushering in an energetic spirit that would remain for the rest of the night.
“It was really special to do our opening song … for the first time this season,” Bruce said. “It’s such a great opening song, and everyone gets involved, and you have this great moment where you’re looking at each other and feeding off your energy.”
Hempel noted that playing “Coloring,” one of the band’s original songs, was one of the most impactful parts of the night. She said that she “definitely had a moment where [she] got kind of emotional during that song, because [she] just realized how important all of the people in the band and the band are to me.”
Members of the crowd also took a specific liking to this moment in the show.
“I really liked the piece before the encore,” Lucy Calcott ’25 said. “It was really cute.”
Bassist Declan Finn ‘26 and drummer Hugo Lehrach ’26 are the two newest additions to the band. Finn, who hails from New York City, and Lehrach, who is from Rhode Island, were chosen to fill the band’s vacancies after an extensive auditioning process.
Finn, who has been playing the bass since third grade, had less than two weeks’ preparation to learn all 15 songs on the band’s set list. Despite the large time commitment, he noted that “the other members have been super nice, welcoming and inviting. … It’s really a great environment and it’s been great hanging out with them.”
The band announced the Saturday night show via their Instagram account, and within 24 hours, tickets had already sold out.
“I wanted to go to support my friends Declan and Hugo on their Strictly Platonic debut, but the tickets sold out so fast I had to get mine from a friend,” Charlie Calkins ‘26 said.
Coming out of the gate strong with a rousing performance, Strictly Platonic have both formally introduced themselves to the first-year class and reminded the student body that they can still rock out.
“I liked seeing people from the new freshman class integrating with the sophomore class –– everyone who liked music and alternative bands [coming together],” Calcott said. “I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more shows.”
Strictly Platonic’s next concert will be in the Hopper Courtyard during Parents’ Weekend.