I use short-right click to dismiss some UI elements in V2BlankBrowser. When right-mouse-button is long pressed instead, element menu is displayed.
I think, you could show url bar with navigation at top of tabs. URLBAR, navigation buttons with one's background will be semi-transparent, so user will see tabs. User could move mouse at top of tab, click right and press left to activate tab. It do not have to repeat right-click on top layer until he/she shown urlbar again.
There must be a way to shown layers again - some button, above each layer and not able to be dismissed. When user click it, entire UI will be shown again. Also, this could be small, 1-4px button without label on top.