On this call-to-arms, the Sugarland duo exhort listeners to "use your voice." This tale of personal empowerment is one of two songs on The Incredible Machine to showcase Kristian Bush's voice. "I don't know how many people have really ever heard me sing before," he said of his lead verse. "For fans of the band, it's like a whole new layer is peeled back."
Bush told The Boot that even though the song has a strong message, it wasn't inspired by any particular event. He explained: "There are a lot of messages we put in our songs, and we try to make them honest but subtle. We don't want to beat you over the head with it, because real life isn't like that. Real life has meaning in the smallest thing. Like when I dropped off my daughter at her first day at kindergarten, I heard Kenny Chesney's 'Don't Blink' in the car on the way back. You're finding that really powerful moment, no matter how small, and making it important in your life. 'Stand Up' comes from a long history of activism of the heart. I've been really humbled watching people's reaction to it, because they can write their own script for what they believe in but have not used their voice to say. It's the first song of our encore, and I'll never forget when we played it in Iowa, we got to the first chorus, and everybody in that small town was maybe a little self-conscious about letting go... because maybe they were all gonna see each other in church that Sunday! [laughs] But we played that song and the whole place stood up as if on command."