Club Nokia is a high end Vegas style night club that fancies itself a normal music venue. Every aspect of it is focused on the VIP, and during the 3 times I've been there, it's extremely apparent that whoever is running the place knows and cares very little about the audience that comes to many of the shows that are booked here.
The size is nice, and the sound is phenomenal, but the layout is strange with bad lines of sight and tiering of section is bizarre given the fact that the floor has no obvious slant (unlike the Wiltern, which was converted from a sit-down theater and renovations necessitated walled -off tiers).
A lot of what I'm about to say is pretty specific to the Lords Of Acid show that took place on 7/16/10, but it tells a lot about the club.
First off, this was booked in the absolute WRONG venue, and i knew that as soon as it was announced. Club Nokia has a capacity of 2300 and the reports of the show is that 900 showed up. This show should have been at the Fonda. It would have been a lot more fun in a crazy packed floor.
Also, Club Nokia has multiple sections, including a 400-person capacity pit that is "first come first serve" to get a wrist band for. So generally you get there early to get into the pit. Doors were at 8pm (although it was closer to 8:30pm that we were actually let in), and LOA didn't even hit the stage until almost midnight. So there were a bunch of people there at 8pm, and we had an hour of some dj playing typical goth/industrial club music that could have easily been played over the PA without turntables on stage, then two cheesy metal bands before My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult came on.
Upon entrance, nobody made it clear that you could go get a wristband to get into the pit, as you had to go over there and basically request the wristband from a big bouncer. So if you've never been there before, you don't know. They had security EVERYWHERE for this thing, and I think that intimidated people from trying to go into the pit or maybe they thought it was VIP and I'd say it was only half full down there.
Also, the drinks in that place are EXPENSIVE. Stellas and Shocktops on draft were $10/pint and fucking Bud Lights were $8/pint. When you're in there for 5 hours, it gets ludicrous. And to counter some reviewers who obviously don't go to a lot of shows...yes, you should expect to pay more for drinks at shows, but this is not even close to typical. I have paid $10 for a regular sized beer on the roof of the Standard, but never at a rock concert.
So, bad venue for the show and bad planning. it should have been doors at 9 with one opening band since there were two headline-length sets. Keeping people in a club from 8pm - 1am for a concert is ridiculous. or have it somewhere that's all access so you're not afraid of being caught with a bad line of site if you don't get there early. If this was at the Fonda I wouldn't have even shown up until 10pm.
ALSO, I'd like to add that this opinion comes from someone who goes to a LOT of concerts and has been to most every venue in Los Angeles. What bugs me may not bug the more casual concert goer.