Triston Marez Once Got Tipped $300 To Play Little Big Town’s “Pontoon” In A Nashville Bar

A person playing a guitar on a stage

We all know how it goes once you get a few drinks in you: Money means nothing anymore.

$15 for a warm beer at a concert? Why not.

$75 to get McDonald’s delivered to your house? Sure.

Spend $100 on Amazon and get a surprise at your doorstep a few days later when you can’t remember what you ordered? Happens to the best of us.

Yeah, drunk people make some pretty stupid financial decisions.

Like paying $300 to hear the band at Tootsie’s in Nashville play Little Big Town‘s classic summer hit “Pontoon.”

Rising country star Triston Marez (who happens to have one of the best damn albums of the year with his self-titled debut album) got his start in country music by doing the Broadway scene in Nashville, playing at bars like Tootsie’s for tips.

And he knows firsthand just how much money drunk people will throw around when there’s a song they want to hear.

When Triston stopped by the Whiskey Riff Raff podcast awhile back, we asked him what was the most he’d ever made in one night on tips, and he told us the story of the biggest tip he ever got:

“This guy – we were setting up, the band was just getting started, like we were loading in.

I had a bucket in my hand, and that’s like the tourist thing, ‘Ok this guy sings for money.’

This guy hands over a $100 bill and he goes ‘Can you play that boat song? The motorboat.’…

And I was like ‘What the hell?’ So then I completely ignored it.”

Well the man was undeterred – because like we’ve already discussed, drunk people are terrible with money. So he comes back with ANOTHER $100 bill.

“This time I pretended to not know what the song was.

I figured it out, it was Little Big Town…And I was like ‘I don’t know what you’re talkin’ about man.'”

I mean at this point you know the man’s not going to just give up. He’s tried and failed twice to come up with the name of the song he wants to hear.

But after a little bit, he finally figured it out:

“So then he came back with another $100 bill with the name. He goes ‘Pontoon!’ I was like ‘Alright, $100.’

He forgot about the other $200.

$300 to play “Pontoon.’ It was the funniest thing.”

Classic drunk people move.

I’ll admit, I’ve made some pretty stupid financial decisions when I was drunk. And I don’t even know how many $20 bills I’ve thrown in tip jars around Nashville to hear “John Deere Green.”

But if I was going to pay $300 for one song? Well, it sure as hell wouldn’t be “Pontoon.”

But after a few drinks, when you want to hear some Little Big Town, you’ll do whatever it takes I guess.

Worked out pretty well for Triston, at least.

If you want to hear Triston tell this story and many more (including the time he got kicked out of Tootsie’s for smuggling beer in his guitar case), check out our full interview with him on Whiskey Riff Raff.

And just because he’s so damn good, here’s his debut single, “Where the Neon Lies” (featuring the legendary Ronnie Dunn).

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock