Steven Tyler: Out on a Limb (2018)

Steven Tyler, lead singer of Aerosmith, judge on American Idol, multi-soundtrack participant, actor, and generally interesting human being is followed here by filmmaker Casey Tebo who had previously spent a decade with Aerosmith, recording their travels and work. Here the camera and focus is on Tyler and his new work as a country singer. His new band that he handpicked talked about how they were selected and offered the jobs they have now, famous fans from Slash to horror director Adam Green discuss the impact of Tyler, Aerosmith, and their music on them, on the music industry as a whole, and why it makes sense for Tyler to now be turning to country music. The film shows that this genre move is more than just a stunt or an ego trip, it’s a genuine project from the heart, for the love of music, and for the love of performing. The film is a good look into Steven Tyler and who is.

Director Casey Tebo takes a long look at Steven Tyler in this documentary and includes more than enough performances including a lot of his country music as that is the focus of the documentary and a few songs fans of his more rock work will recognize. The film is built for fans by a man who has incredible access to Tyler, giving the film a feeling of it being quite personal and accessible at the same time. From the interviews peppered throughout the film, this seems to be how Tyler is the people who have the luck to know him and work with him. The interviews with his band members, his current country band, no appearance by Joe Perry et al, are interesting to watch and give a bit of a family feel to the proceeding. Out of the band members, a few more people are interviewed such as the aforementioned Adam Green and Slash with Slash being the most interesting in terms of view on Tyler’s impact on rock music. The interviews are well spaced out during the runtime, but feel a bit too few and far in-between while not being varied enough in terms of who they interviewed. It feels smaller in scope than Steven Tyler deserves because of this.

The documentary Steven Tyler: Out on a Limb is interesting to music fans in general, but is ultimately mostly for fans of the man. It’s very well shot and looks stunning, glossy almost, showing Tebo’s capacity to filming concerts and interviews as well as following a man who’s larger than life. The music is fantastic, once again mostly for fans of Tyler but also for fans of the genres he works in. Of course the film is made to shine a light on Tyler and it does so in very positive light, but it’s a definitively interesting watch for fans of music and fans of Steven Tyler.