Reason #186: “If You’re Out There” as Performed by The Stereotypes
The Washington University Stereotypes are a unique a cappella group with a unique identity. Granted, I haven’t had the opportunity to catch the group live for a number of years now, but there was a period in the early 2010s when I had the pleasure of encountering them multiple times at festivals, competitions, and ultimately at the ICCA Finals. I was consistently impressed with not only their musical precision and shrewd song selection, but a sense of unbridled energy and optimism. The Stereotypes weren’t the cool guys or the brooding guys—they were guys who came across as sincere, passionate, and loving what they were doing.
The group’s performance at the 2011 Finals stands out to me most of all. The guys capped this particular set with John Legend’s “If You’re Out There”—a powerful anthem of hope, a call to action. It was a perfect song for the perfect group, taking The Stereotypes one step more serious than the crowd had seen them up to that point and transforming them from entertainers to men on a mission, and a mission not just to win a competition, but to change the world. The group sold every line of this song with the utmost authenticity and letting their emotion pour over the stage on one final march forward to hit the audience with a wall of sound.
I love it!