I've made that same point about 1989 "comeback" albums before, and I do think that Steel Wheels is more boring than Dirty Work, but the tour deserved at least some of that hype. The band was so dysfunctional when they put out Dirty Work that they didn't even tour.
The Steel Wheels tour was the first "late period" tour. During the '70s the entire tour would one setlist that didn't change, or had only minor variations, and they barely played any pre-Beggars Banquet songs. This was also the period where Mick would "bark" all the vocals. Even when the rest of the band sounds good, Mick frequently sounds so awful that it's hard to believe that he was getting away with it. In 1989 they reinvented their live shows by bringing in the backup musicians and playing more diverse setlists. For example, they played Ruby Tuesday for the first time since 1967, played Dead Flowers for the first time since 1976, and played 2000 Light Years From Home live for the first time ever. Sure, all those backup musicians and nostalgic setlists made them seem old, but at least the concerts were enjoyable.