Simultaneously he learned by playing along with records of The Specials and Duran Duran. His technique in the early years of LIVE can be described as ‘funky’ and very present: on LIVE's debut album (Mental Jewelry) Dahlheimer's bass lines stand out more than for instance on Secret Samadhi. Patrick explains that change himself: “These days I don’t feel that I need to fill up a lot of ‘space’ within the songs. Some parts just fit better when they are plain and simple. Sometimes you can make a point by leaving out notes." The difference in experience is also reason to that change he says: "Songs like ‘Take My Anthem’ and ‘Mirror Song’ have a more or less individual bass line, not really distracted from the drum or guitar parts. That is merely because we didn’t really know better at that time. Not that I was naive or anything, I just did what felt right. And that approach can turn out to work really well. These days I sometimes wish I could still make my music in that way. But that seems to become much harder after all these years.”
For the outside world Patrick is known as ‘the funny one’. When asked if his personality indeed differs that much from the rest of the group he responded: “Different? Let’s just say there’s no one like me.” Different or not, according to Chad Taylor, Patrick is definitely the one person you need when you are ‘in the mood for lots of fun and hysteric laughter’. The image of the clown of the group is also somewhat confirmed by the tour diary the band wrote during their 2000-something tour: Dahlheimer always has the funny faces in the pictures or finds himself in the most awkward situations.
Despite his image, Patrick is always very serious in making music and his work with instruments. He can enthusiastically recall why he chose a specific bass instrument for that one song and how much the sound of the song is influenced by his choice. At one point it he owned about 30 different bass guitars: quite a difference with that one bass he had during the recording of Mental Jewelry. Patrick said: "After we recorded the whole album I walked into a store in Milwaukee where they sold a bass of about 4 thousand dollars. When I tried it, I needed to buy it. Only problem was that our total budget for Mental Jewelry was about 10 thousand dollars. Luckily I persuaded the shop owner to lend me the guitar for a while. I went back to the studio and rerecorded ALL songs on the album with the new bass…”