Country megastar Garth Brooks played Murphy Center five times between 1991 and 1994. At his sold-out show on November 7, 1991, Garth played an emotional, high-energy set that thoroughly impressed the audience and Nashville movie critics. Robert K. Oremann of the Tennessean wrote, “The concert was one of the most striking examples of two-way interplay between performer and crowd I’ve ever witnessed.” Playing Murphy Center was obviously special for Brooks. At the first show, he announced, “This is kind of a first time for me…not only am I playing in front of what I consider to be my friends, I’m playing in front of my neighbors.” (Nashville Banner, November 8, 1991)
The Judds, one of the most successful country acts of the 1980s, played their farewell concert at Murphy Center on December 4, 1991. The previous year, the mother-and-daughter duo, Naomi and Wynonna Judd, released Love Can Build a Bridge, with the hit singles “Born to be Blue” and the title cut. The farewell concert at Murphy Center was released nationally as a documentary concert film later in 1991.
Pearl Jam, a band closely identified with the “grunge” movement of the 1990s, played to a sold-out crowd in Murphy Center on March 26, 1994. In addition to playing hit songs such as “Even Flow,” Daughter,” and “Jeremy,” the band welcomed legendary guitarist Steve Cropper to the stage to play “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay,” a song Cropper co-wrote with Otis Redding.
The Judds Farewell Concert from 1991
“The Women of Country” (1993)
Phish, 15 November 1998, Murphy Center, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Ludacris, 2017, Murphy Center, Murfreesboro, Tennessee