Now back to the party.
Arena is a Rome-themed former church about half a block from Bryant Park. T-Mobile actually made us journalists line-up and wait outside like we were itching to get into some super trendy nightspot that we normally don't have a chance in hell of getting in to. (Wait a minute, I suppose that's what we were actually doing...) Eventually they let us in and it was quickly apparent that the tech press were the least of the attendees. I have to be honest here and say that I know literally nothing about R&B and hip hop, but it was obvious that a sizable portion of the large crowd at Arena last night was excited about something other than T-Mobile's newest handset.
There were a handful of women dressed in faux-Roman garb, complete with Centurion-like helmets, walking around with the 5300 and providing demonstrations and letting the crowd get some hands-on time with the phone. Not that you could hear anything over the music. Most people were shouting at one another to be heard.
The night started off with some loud DJ tunes. Swedish alt rockers The Teddybears, complete with...wait for it...bear heads on their noggins kicked off the live music. After about 45 minutes, they retired and Twista eventually came on stage, to the delight of the crowd. Most of the techies I knew at the party were out of there long before Twista came on, as were many of the Nokia staffers at the event. One Nokia spokesperson admitted, "This is T-Mobile's party, we're just here to have fun."
I guess a little fun isn't a bad thing.