(Lil’ B performs “I Cook” at the Highline Ballroom, NYC, 1-13-11. Video via BlowHipHopTV)

I’ve been to many many (too many) shows. Most I don’t even remember. But few have been as remarkable as the Lil B concert at the Highline Ballroom on Thursday night. Now before you get all huffy at me and accuse me of forsaking the legend of Illmatic and my Wu-Tang decoder ring….just be clear. I’m not saying that “I’m Miley Cyrus” and rapping over the Garden State soundtrack onstage is on the same level as shows like Hov n Em’s Home + Home, or my favorite live moment, the epic Hot97/Pepsi DJ Battle of 2007. But what I am saying is: without the fireworks of that Yankee Stadium extravaganza, and all the nostalgic celeb cameos of that Hot97/Pepsi jam session….Lil’ B’s concert still amazed me because of the connection between the performer and the audience. It was like a semi-religious gathering of ethnically-diverse superfans, who, at one point, spontaneously chanted rapidly, and in unison: “Thankyoubasedgod. Thankyoubasedgod. Thankyoubasedgod.
Did you ever see Animal House? Well, it reminded me of Kevin Bacon’s Thank you, sir, may I have another, hazing scene.
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From Diplo‘s perch onstage, I’m sure he saw all the fans wearing chef hats and aprons, waving serving spoons, doing B’s “cooking” dance. As for the performance, “Wonton Soup” rang off even for the less pious members of the congregation, while other songs had difficulty translating that hilarious deadpan weirdness that B delivers via youtube. But over and over, Lil’ B’s interaction with his fans saved the show….like when he passed out the mic, and fans professed their love: “Hi Based God, um, you can f–k my sister.” Another man actually kissed Lil’ B’s hand. I guess if you don’t know that there’s humor in this display, it could seem a bit David Koresh-creepy, but DJ Atrak (who is cooking up some music with Lil’ B soon) explained that Lil’ B’s followers actually took real youtube comments like “Thank you, Based God.” and “Lil’ B f–ked my b—h” and turned them into these hilarious memes.

So, is this guy destined to be the Kool Keith of the social network generation? Or will Lil B’s Glass Face/Angels Exodus albums be a turning point? Maybe Universal honcho Sylvia Rhone thinks so after watching last night’s “service” from the balcony. But the buzz doesn’t seem lost on Lil’ B himself, who said onstage:

How many of y’all want everything? I promise you. I want every-thing…
I killed hip hop and saved hip hop…
Tell Jay-Z to get a beat from me…

Personally, I think Sylvia should think about signing B’s fans as well.
Watch them offer up members of their family to Lil’ B….and one fan’s awesome “cooking” dance clip…
after the jump

(idol worship at the Lil B show….video via RealtalkNY)

(How great is this vid of our twitterfriend Dunnyy, “cooking” in the audience?!)

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(yes, this happened. B took a moment on stage to demonstrate how his six-pack could be used as a percussive device.)

Check out Ernest Estime’s photos and Combat Jack’s show recap at The Source
Karen Civil (who hosted the Lil B listening session earlier this week) also posted a show recap

Related: (seriously, just look at these headlines!)
Lil’ B on MTV’s Vice Guide to Everything: Twitter-Dating, Masturbation, and more…
Lil’ B talks about his Jay Electronica collabo, and apologizes to Kanye for threatening to rape him
Lil’ B’s listening party: how getting punched on youtube spawned an album (Vibe Magazine)
A selection of twitter reactions from the Lil’ B show, including yours truly (Thanks Rob at XXLMag)