I too thought it was a good show and had pretty good seats - front row : ) While i would not say that there were a lot of theatrics involved compared to some bands, i would say that there was a lot more going on than a bunch of musicians sitting around playing their instruments. There were some things that kind of threw me for a loop as to why they were being done, but they explained themselves as the show progressed. Let's just say that some of the props "morphed" as the situation arose. I don't want to give things away, but i'm sure that Tim has a good idea of what i'm referring to.
As to the length of the show, Peter went on stage at 8:45 and was done a little bit after 11. This included two encores and the crowd was still intact and yelling for more. For the first show of the tour, i think they got off to a good start. The highly receptive crowd probably didn't hurt Peter and crew though. It's always nice to have a LOT of very vocal support when starting off on a new venture.
As a side note, the Blind Boys of Alabama were pretty enjoyable. Very different than what one might expect as an opening band for Mr Gabriel, but good none the less. There was supposed to be a third act but something must have happened along the way. Sean