As True/False Film Festival-goers entered Cafe Berlin for the first music showcase of the weekend on Thursday evening, volunteer Amanda Rainey met them at the door with an industrial-sized drink pitcher and click-counter, saying “Hi, we’re collecting donations for bands.”

Doors opened at 8 p.m. at the café and the showcase featuring Cindy Woolf, Bramble, Steven Carrel and the Sad Bastards and The Toughcats was scheduled to start at 9 p.m.

However, 9 p.m. came and went without music. Eventually, the sound of singing paired with an acoustic guitar started to become audible in the dining area of Café Berlin, causing those milling around in the dining area to move through the double doors off the dining area into the Berlin Theatre.

On the stage, faux-foliage and branches hung over the performer, a woman with shoulder-length black hair singing and strumming a guitar. When she finished, the audience of about 18 onlookers started to applaud tepidly.

“That sound okay?” she asked in an equally tepid voice, to which one man shouted back, “Yeah!”

“Well thank you. That was our sound check. Hey y’all, I’m Cindy Woolf. I’m going to get this started off,” Woolf says before looking around for her Pabst Blue Ribbon, which had gone missing.

Woolf performed her 45-minute set while the crowd began to fill out the theater, and reminded audiences before leaving the stage that “I’ll be around all weekend, so let’s party.” Woolf was followed by Bramble, a band from Salt Lake City, Utah. Both Woolf and Bramble dedicated songs to each other during their sets.

Judging by the decorative masks still hanging around the necks of some concert-goers, many had been at the Jubilee Gala earlier in the evening. But not everyone had been to an event earlier in the day nor had even been planning on going to a True/False documentary during the course of the weekend.

“Some friends told me I should come out for some good music,” says audience member Dusty Hoffman, who had never been to a True/False event before and had not even heard of the festival before Thursday evening.

Following Bramble, Steven Carrel and the Sad Bastards, a hometown folk/blues band took the stage, and the night finished with Maine-natives The Toughcats. Each band performed a 30-to-45 minute set

Thursday’s performers sounded like a folk-indie hybrid, with a little bit of bluegrass, True/False volunteer Katelin Coonce says.

By 11 p.m., over 79 people had been clicked into the 150-person-capacity venue, and Rainey says that she hopes more people will come out over the course of the weekend. More bands will take the stage on Friday and Saturday evening. Doors will open at 8 p.m. both evenings.

- Ted Hart

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