Billy Dukes of Taste of Country gave the song four stars out of five, writing that Young "plays with notes high and low like a cat plays with a ball of yarn, sort of batting them back and forth, always in control." Tara Seetharam of Country Universe gave the song an A- grade, saying that Young's voice "sinks into the groove of the song so effortlessly you’d think he was singing in his sleep, skating around the melody with an appropriate blend of conviction and restraint." Jonathan Keefe of Slant Magazine, reviewing the album, called it a strong track that uses "creative imagery to explain the seductive draw of a bar."
"Neon" debuted at number 54 on the US BillboardHot Country Songs chart for the week of March 31, 2012. It also debuted at number 100 on the US BillboardHot 100 chart for the week of August 11, 2012. With a peak of number 23 on the country music charts, it became Young's first single to miss the Number One spot since 2007's "You're Gonna Love Me" peaked at number 48.