It was like a scene from an 80’s mobster film. I was greeted at Lamberts by a towering, well-dressed behemoth of a man who briefly interrogated me asking who I came to see, and if my name was on the list. I managed to say “Rene, and I’m here to see Patient Wolf,” just loud enough. He ran through his papers, keeping one eye on me, as if he needed to double check the password himself. But then he proceeded to escort me to the back. Yes, I was escorted. We dodged three or four waitresses and finally came to a staircase with the sound check echoing from above. “Right this way,” he gestured. I wasn’t sure if I was going to a rock concert or a secret key party. Part of me was hoping for the key party, but seeing Matt Gilmour’s Patient Wolf was most certainly a worthy substitute. I arrived just as the band was ready to go on. The anxious crowd was in high anticipation of a memorable night. And the pack did not disappoint. Matt Gilmour (vox/guitar), Jared Pena (keys/vox), Danny Coco (drums), and Jason Blackmond (bass) filed onto the stage one by one. A grandiose entrance on an intimate stage. In a matter of seconds, their presence filled the entire room.
Versatility was on full display. The elements of Motown, funk, and gritty, classic rock spewed from the PA while I stood next to the sound engineer who seemed to have a script of my thoughts and was reading them aloud. He would simultaneously vocalize the exact phrase I was thinking: “WOW!” Every upbeat swing changing to a hard 4/4 power punch, I would hear my thoughts coming from behind the console. It would seem that this sound engineer had damn good taste. From beginning to end, excessive head bobbing wasn’t a choice. It was more just natural reaction and pure human instinct. The crowd was seriously grooving to this throwback to classic 70’s progressive psychedelic rock. The style had a dirty personality that could not be ignored by anyone in the room.
Matt Gilmour’s Patient Wolf was one Hell of an exhibition. The balance of all those musical elements was exquisite. Each style melding perfectly into their own. Even Pena’s intensity was off the charts! He threw in his coarse vocals into the limelight during some segments, and they held their momentum without skipping a beat. Switching it up also allowed Gilmour the freedom to explore the stage and become a more versatile part of the already exceptional experience. Their performance lingered with me all the way back to the car, limiting my entire vocabulary to one or two-word (positive) expletives. Patient Wolf is a sensation waiting to happen. So, get in line before the stage they play on matches the size of their sound. You will be damn glad you did.
-Rene De la Mora and Matt Jain, TipCow