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BlackBerry Storm gets hip LA launch party

The touch-screen would-be iPhone rival is the guest of honor at a star-studded LA concert featuring Foo Fighters.

Foo Fighters performing at Wednesday's LA launch party for the BlackBerry Storm. (Photo taken with a BlackBerry Curve.) Ina Fried/CNET News

HOLLYWOOD, Calif.--The BlackBerry Storm got its chance to be a child star Wednesday as Research In Motion threw it a coming-out party at the legendary Avalon Hollywood club.

There was the full runway action, as paparazzi photographed celebrities going down the red carpet on their way into the club. As I arrived, a couple of cast members from the new 90210 show were making their way down the carpet. (Perhaps my favorite line of the evening was one of the show's cast members saying she hadn't actually seen the original show, but had "seen pictures" of the show's stars).

Annalynne McCord of the new '90210' show walks down the red carpet at the BlackBerry Storm party. (Photo taken with a BlackBerry Curve.) Ina Fried/CNET News

I hung out near the red carpet as long as I could, but was urged to move it along so John Mayer could get his turn in front of the cameras. (Mayer and Apple fans alike will note he has made more than his share of appearances onstage with Steve Jobs but now stumps for RIM).

Since I know, I'd get comments along the lines of "Pix or it didn't happen," I've included a number of shots I took with my own BlackBerry (a Curve, alas). The pictures that were taken with the Storm's 3.2 megapixel camera look a lot better than the ones I took with my Curve, but well, there you have it.

In the VIP section, while the celebrities largely drank and took in the Foo Fighters, there were a few geeks that also managed to score a coveted white wrist band (often friends of friends of friends of the VIPs). They could easily be spotted tapping away on one of the many demo Storm devices at the event.

"It's still in beta" was a phrase I heard on more than one occasion from those offering the demos.

The phone, which is exclusive to Verizon's network, is expected to launch shortly, though nobody at the event was promising an exact launch date.

Here's a video, taken with my BlackBerry Curve, of the paparazzi giving instructions to David somebody as he walks down the red carpet. (Hey, I'm better at recognizing tech execs than celebs.)