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“Do you think it’ll sell out?”

“Yeah man… Boris is huge!”

So went the commentary in line to get into the Black Cat on Tuesday for an evening of eardrum punishment courtesy of Boris, Torche and Clouds. The show didn’t sell out, but it sure felt like a completely packed house up front, where in front of me the view looked like the above and behind me (and, er, occasionally on top of me) raged a mosh pit the likes of which I’ve rarely seen at the Black Cat.

To be succinct: Torche had me dodging vigorous fist-pumps and jabbing elbows, as they put on a set of catchy, melodic metal (with a fair bit of howling, noisy feedback thrown in just for fun) that was even more energetic than the one they delivered at Rock & Roll Hotel a couple months ago opening for The Sword. Then Boris—-whose set consisted of the entirety of their latest album, Smile, plus a couple other songs including “Pink”—-brought the calm, taking the stage obscured in clouds of fog hissing out of the drum riser. In keeping with the more accessible nature of Smile, a lot of this set was tuneful and moderated, but this is still Boris we’re talking about here, and before long Wata, Boris’ deceptively petite and placid-looking guitarist, was unleashing feedback-drenched walls of sound and the mosh pit was back on in full force.

The set ended with a 20-minute psychedelic journey that proved that, even if the show wasn’t sold out, Boris is indeed huge.

More photos here.