When you hear someone say "college pep band," a lot of thoughts and images come to mind. You picture the instruments, your school fight song, a halftime or marching performance and those school color polos or uniforms.

But at conference tournaments on neutral courts, the college pep band takes on a much larger role.

It's not just about playing the school fight song and coercing the audience into singing along with Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline. It's about bringing the atmosphere, the energy and the noise.

During Game One of The Summit League's 2017 conference tournament, the Western Illinois and Denver pep bands brought all of the energy.

The Western Illinois Pep Band plays a tune (Christian Zylstra/Results Radio)

Student sections aren't exactly packed during the first few games or rounds of a conference tournament, especially for schools traveling more than a few hours to the tournament's location. With the loudest section of regular fans missing from the arena, the pep bands are left to stand in their place.

To compensate for the missing students, Western Illinois and Denver battled back and forth in a round of chants and songs throughout the tournament's opening game.

Both bands did whatever it took to give their school an advantage on the court, whether that be stomping on the bleachers, jumping up and down or screaming like tornado sirens.

In The Summit League's second game of the conference tournament, North Dakota State's band picked up right where the previous two bands left off.

North Dakota State's Pep Band rocks in full force (Christian Zylstra/Results Radio)

Being a member of a school pep band is about more than just playing instruments. Band members play a variety of roles: they're musicians, students, noisemakers and fans.