"Live at the Fillmore" is a very good video postcard of Vida Blue. The core group consists of musicians who play strong supporting roles in their primary bands. Being supportive players, this trio lacks the mojo to transfer the magic from their regular groups into a new band. Being self-conscious of this truth, it's no wonder why the core trio invited the seven piece Spam Allstars to fill out the sound. For starters, the song writing is weak. While the group lays down an epic groove, nobody has the talent or will to 'grab the bull by the horns' and play a Trey Anastasio or Greg Allman style power solo. Speaking of Page's former band, Phish phans are given instant gratification with a horn driven version of 'Cars Trucks Buses.' As the "Pharmer's Almanac" indicates, Page was inspired to write this song after listening to Medeski, Martin & Wood (MMW). Along these lines, Vida Blue may have been McConnell's attempt at creating a MMW style keyboard trio. In any case, 'Most Events Aren't Planned' is a great Phish style song. It's better than most songs Trey and the boys recorded during their last five years. Roger Waters would be proud to watch the band's live rendition of 'Sheep.' This Pink Floyd cover is one of the disc's highlights. The ensemble effectively lays down a funk and jazz infused groove, especially as demonstrated on 'Little Miami.' While there may be little crossover between baseball fans and jamband fans, that didn't stop the editor from including many images of the band's namesake. The audio* and video work is excellent. While nobody may ever call Vida Blue their favorite band, "Live at the Fillmore" shows the group at its best.
*This DVD plays perfectly on my computer but on my late model DVD player, the Spam Allstars were left out of the audio mix. Thus the core trio is heard but the brass, DJ, guitar and percussion is left out.