New manager Stephen Glass had just three days training the Dons but already looks to have been a catalyst for the return of self-belief and attacking edge.
It will take time for Glass to get his football philosophy fully integrated into the team and his blueprint for success will only fully come to fruition once he can strengthen in the summer and bring in players who fit his vision.
It will be more evolution than revolution.
However, the presence of Glass and assistant Allan Russell has clearly sparked a shift in the mindset of the squad.
It is clear the players buy into what Glass is trying to bring to the club.
This is a game Aberdeen would probably have lost before Glass’s arrival as confidence has been fragile in 2021.
Twice the Dons fell behind to a Livingston side fired up and ready for a cup scrap – twice they battled back from the brink to keep the bid to land the Scottish Cup for the first time since 1990 alive.
During his three days of working with the squad at Cormack Park, the new manager had called for more energy, urgency and commitment in the press.
He certainly got that in the latter stages of the second half and in extra-time.
Livingston’s goal seemed to galvanise the Reds as from that setback there suddenly grew a fluidity of movement in attack and midfield, more intent in the final third and more of a goal threat.
Players were braver in possession and it paid off with the Dons scoring two goals for the first time since beating Motherwell 2-0 on January 22.
Next up is a home quarter-final tie against Dundee United on Sunday.
If Glass could somehow mastermind a trophy win in his first five weeks in charge, it would be a monumental statement of intent and platform to build going forward.
This season the Scottish Cup offers more than silverware glory, since there are benefits beyond just the trophy.
Winning the Scottish Cup would allow Glass more time to rebuild the squad in the summer and for the new-look team to gel and integrate his football style.
If the Dons lift the trophy on May 22, or even reach the final against Champions League-bound Rangers, they will go into the Europa League at the third qualifying round stage with the first tie scheduled for August 5.
If the Dons do not qualify for Europe via the Scottish Cup, it is likely they will do so via the Premiership – with the teams finishing third and fourth entering the UEFA Conference League at the second qualifying stage on July 22.
Scottish Cup glory would potentially give Glass an extra two weeks to work with his squad before competitive football starts next season – should they finish third or fourth in the table as well.
Should Rangers win the cup, that Europa League spot – and later start – goes to the team finishing third, so there is so much to play for this season.
Gary Woods can be solid replacement for Joe Lewis if required
The Dons suffered a blow in the 18th minute when keeper Joe Lewis suffered a rib injury when colliding with Jon Guthrie. After treatment he bravely battled on.
Substitute keeper Gary Woods had not played a minute of first team football in more than a year prior to coming on for the injured Lewis.
The on-loan keeper’s last appearance was in a 2-2 draw for parent club Oldham against Leyton Orient on February 22 last year.
However, although he conceded early on he was rock solid after that early goal.
Florian Kamberi back on top in striker battle?
Scotland Under-21 international Fraser Hornby won the battle of the on-loan strikers to start Stephen Glass’ first game.
The Dons threatened in the 31st minute when Hornby fired in a low left-footed shot from 15 yards only to be denied by a solid diving save from keeper Max Stryjek.
However, it was substitute Florian Kamberi who will have impressed the new manager with a strong shift and clinical finish for his first Dons goal.
He laid down a marker to reclaim the starting slot against Celtic on Wedneday.
Veteran McGinn makes statement in pursuit of new deal
Niall McGinn delivered an argument for a new contract with a superbly taken goal, an assist and influential link-up play.
The winger is out of contract at the end of the season.
Boss Stephen Glass urged players to fight for their Dons futures – although 33, McGinn looks up for the battle.
The Dons levelled the score at 1-1 when Kamberi played a pass down the left to Jonny Hayes. He fired in a cross to find McGinn, who drilled a superb shot from 15 yards beyond Stryjek into the top corner.
The Reds then bounced back immediately from going 2-1 down in the 96th minute when McGinn played in a superb pass and substitute Kamberi slid in to direct it into the net for his first Aberdeen goal.