St Petersburg was the first city in Russia to adapt club culture in the late 80s. The club movement started with underground rock clubs and art centers and expanded later, in the beginning of 90s, to rave clubs.
However, it was in the middle of 90s when the club culture really started to boom, and that was when the most famous clubs, like FishFabrique, Moloko, Mama started to become popular.
Nowadays, St. Petersburg is the place to go for live alternative and rock music concerts, as well as for jazz and "arty" clubs, where you can have a beer and meet a lot of people over one evening. Dance clubs are also popular, but are not as good as in Moscow (maybe St. Petersburg'ers think otherwise...). Another difference from Moscow is that a lot of places seem to be less pretentious, thus having a relaxed and easy-going atmosphere.