Colin Nish signalled that there would be life in Kilmarnock without Kris Boyd by hitting a hat-trick that left poor Livingston at the foot of the SPL.
Boyd started alongside Nish despite having turned down a move to Cardiff.
But it was Nish who was the goal hero, curling in the opener following a pass from his strike partner.
Gary Locke was the provider for the next two goals, the tall Nish converting the midfielder's crosses to secure the points for Killie.
Gordon Greer started in Killie's central defence after David Lilley failed a fitness test, while Danny Invincibile came into midfield.
Livingston player-manager Paul Lambert was ruled out along with defenders Harald Pinxten, Greg Strong and David McNamee.
And Livi's lack of resources at the back were severely tested early on, Emanuel Dorado blocking an early attempt by Nish and Gary McDonald dragged a shot wide.
Boyd set up Nish for the opener after 28 minutes and the striker curled a beautiful right-footed shot into the top corner of the net.
Livi's Derek Adams limped off to be replaced with Dubi Tesevic and their side was quickly two goals behind.
Nish rose unmarked to head Locke's cross past the helpless Roddy McKenzie.
Locke repeated the exercise, swinging in a superb left-footed cross for the young striker to make no mistake from close range two minutes before the break.
Play continued to be scrappy after the break, but Garry Hay unleashed a tremendous 30-yard volley that McKenzie was happy to just tip over.
Nish had a chance to claim a fourth goal 12 minutes from time when Livi failed to deal with a long clearance.
But the hat-trick hero saw his weak stabbed shot deflected wide for a corner.
Boyd was given a standing ovation by the home fans when he departed in the 81st minute as Gary Wales entered the fray.
And similar appreciation was extended towards man-of-the-match Nish when he was replaced by Robert Campbell four minutes later.
Livi's day was summed up when SPL debutant Dalglish, easily the visitors' best player, saw a cheeky back-flicked volley come back off the bar with Killie goalkeeper Alan Combe beaten.
Kilmarnock: Combe, Fowler, Greer, Ford, Hay, Invincibile, McDonald (Dodds 74), Locke, Johnston, Boyd (Wales 81), Nish (Campbell 86).
Subs Not Used: Smith, Naismith, Dillon, Leven. Booked: Hay.
Goals: Nish 28, 35, 43.
Livingston: McKenzie, Brittain, Dorado, Mackay, Tierney, Walker, Scott, Vincze (McPake 67), Dair (Pereira 77), Adams (Tesevic 34), Dalglish.
Subs Not Used: Roy, McLaughlin, Snodgrass, Boyd.
Booked: Scott, McPake.
Ref: M McCurry