Frontman performs on the sidelines

While most frontmen take the stage representing their band, one artist took a more modest approach to his performance. Toro y Moi walked onto Higher Ground’s funkadelic stage decorated with bright neon lights Sept. 29. Musical genius Chaz Bundick, the man responsible for most of Toro y Moi’s recorded music, came out dressed in a plain white t-shirt tucked into patterned pants, a huge afro and a live band. The band consisted of Jordan Blackmon on guitar, Patrick Jeffords on bass, Andy Woodward on drums and Anthony Ferraro on keyboards and backing vocals. Ferraro is also the lead singer and keyboard player for the opening band, Astronauts, etc. A recording of philosopher Alan Watts played as they walked onto stage. William Devaughn’s classic funk song “Be Thankful for What You Got” followed perfectly. Toro y Moi began their actual set by playing the song “Half Dome” off their new album “What For?” and ended with an encore performance of the album’s outro, “Yeah Right.” Toro y Moi displayed their versatility by playing across multiple genres; going from funky songs, such as “New Beat,” “Still Sound” and “Buffalo” to the psychedelic sounding “Lilly” and “The Flight,” to the electro jazz infused “Rose Quartz” and “So Many Details.” Bundick chose not to appear as a frontman for the group and was instead stationed on the left side of the stage, rather than the middle. Bundick sang and alternated between guitar and keyboard throughout the show, while the crowd cheered enthusiastically. Everyone in the audience was grooving to the rhythm of Toro y Moi’s music. There was no jumping, moshing or head banging. Screams of “TORO” or “CHAZ” could be heard in between songs. Bundick smiled humbly every time he heard his name shouted. He wanted the attention to be focused on the band as a whole, not on him as an individual performer. This is what separated Toro y Moi from any other artist I have seen live. Generally the leader of a band will do everything that they can to make their presence known; Bundick didn’t. He rarely talked in between songs, except for a brief “thank you,” opting to let the music speak for itself. Bundick did mention toward the end of the show that it was their first time performing in Burlington, and was shocked to see such an energetic crowd.